It’s been all systems go in the theatre this past week. We’re very much a full unit as a company now which is really lovely. Everybody gets along with each other and there’s no conflicts which is really nice to see. The first piano dress rehearsals have been and gone which means we’re now about to embark on the last few runs and then the shows begin on Monday!
I think the most eye opening part of this week is how intense the stage and orchestra rehearsals have been. It was a true test of our preparation as a stage management team because there was no focus on letting us get things right, it was expected that we could just catch up and carry on wherever Alice wanted us to go from, whether that meant skipping forward or going right back to the beginning of an Aria within a matter of seconds. It made me think of the importance of preparation paperwork and even having my timings in my score because having all the information ready makes things much quicker because you don’t have to rely on memory (which can often be wrong). I know for definite that I’ll focus more on that side of the job in future because of this, as I think I have become victim to thinking that certain things aren’t necessary when they actually are.
The piano dress rehearsals have slightly stressful and tense because everybody is running the show full out for the first time and we’re encountering problems that weight not have expected to encounter during the stage and piano/orchestra rehearsals.
Using my tablet as a device for looking at my documents during tech and dress runs has been widely commented on in passing with other members of the company, and it really made me think I made the right choice to make the change as I have information ready on my side whenever I needed it and the program I use (Xodo PDF reader) has been great at creating tabs and recording new data with ease. There have often been caveats in this with things like occasionally the tablet slows down so documents take longer than usual to load, and the reflection of light from the screen can be seen on stage so I have to be careful of where I position the tablet when in different wings.
A last thing I’ve really learnt is having to take into account how costumes affect the job. I’m now in two costumes (as well as my show blacks) and aside from not being allowed to be on Comms which creates a communication barrier, it really affects my movement and visuals (with the robbers mask) but creates a greater appreciation for the singers who are having to do their blocking while singing and in very flamboyant and heavy clothing.