With Thanksgiving Day off, we lose one day of tech rehearsal. (Tech rehearsal? What’s that?) The week before an opening of the show is when all those pieces finally come together. The set is built (or nearly finished), we run the show with all of our costume/wig changes, use real props, real furniture, the lights change, there are sounds effects, music is playing, the whole shebang. One week. And then we’re off and running! We’ve got to be absolutely solid on lines, entrance cues, because a lot of new sights, sounds and costumes will be thrown at us, and the show must go on!
Tech weekend is for tech – not necessarily for actors. The actors have to be at beck and call for running cue lines and scene changes. The orchestration of these scene changes can be complex. Actor A and K are moving upstage panel to gray while Actors F, G, and H are rotating the platform and Actors J, B and L move the furniture. I am most proud of our young actors who have been patient, quiet and focused. It is difficult enough for us adults to stay on task.
It is this weekend that most beautifully showcases the collaborative nature of the art of theatre. There are a myriad of individual who collaborate to put on a show. Everyone is given a specific task and responsibility to help tell the story:
- Actors have lines and physical movement to portray the character of the story
- Costumers dress the actors appropriately staying true to the time period of the show
- Scene designers gives the story a physical space
- Technical crew builds, paints and decorates the set
- Lighting designers makes sure to light the set with appropriate colors and intensities
- Sound designers give us music and make sure our telephone rings
- Props masters (or mistresses) give actors the necessary objects to use onstage
- Stage managers makes sure everything happens at the correct time
- And the director makes sure we’re all telling the same story :-)
Obviously there is much more work that goes into each of these roles that simply could not fit in this limited space. Hundreds of VOLUNTEER hours (you read that right, volunteer cast, crew, costumes, props...) have been logged for IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE.
Maybe it's your favorite movie, maybe it's not, but I hope that each you reading this entry makes time to come and enjoy the story that we have been working diligently on for the past four weeks. Yyou have 19 opportunities to see the show – no excuses :-)
It really is a beautiful story of struggles, hope, and friendship. Personally, this story reminds me that no mater what choices you make in life, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, your friends and family are worth so much more. Even if you don't feel like you've made a difference, you definitely have impacted the lives around you in ways you might not even know. A simple hug can mean more than thousands of words; simply saying "hi" to a stranger can make the world of difference; a "Thank you" can brighten someone's day. And sometimes it is in adversity that we can truly see what a Wonderful Life it is.
I hope to see you soon. Have a great Thanksgiving!
-Sarah T (Violet Peterson)