Ink Diaries: One Week Down

It’s a week on the calendar. But it’s actually only six days of rehearsal. It was six days of rehearsal that saw us accomplish a lot, especially since we were on our feet for only four of them. We’ve got Act 1 blocked and “in the book.” We’ve learned a lot about each other and it feels like we’re starting to work as a team. I can feel the ensemble starting to build its identity. But it wasn’t a week without challenges.

At this stage of rehearsal you’re always in a rehearsal room of some sort. And POTS has a good one. It’s not an exact footprint match of the stage. Rehearsal rooms rarely ever are. But we’re all used to that. That’s why we call the first rehearsals on stage “spacing rehearsals.” We got to take a look at the scenery being installed on stage and that was informative.

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Given the nature of one of the major scenic locations in this play our original plan required a lot of furniture-desks, chairs, and other stuff you’d find in a newspaper office. It was a solid plan. Until I realized that we just didn’t have enough room to adequately rehearse those scenes and the transitions in and out of them in the rehearsal space.

So I changed the plan. On the fly.

I love those in the moment moments: following the plan, feeling something’s wrong, and knowing you have to make a change. Your senses tingle back and forth between panic and possibility. You don’t know what the change will be. But you dive in, articulate the idea and hope you’re on the right course.  Sometimes the new idea flies. Sometimes it crashes.

I’ve learned through the years that when I hit one of these moments I find myself literally not being able to initially articulate the idea clearly and cleanly at first. Because it is literally forming as the words tumble out. The cast has that “what the hell” look in their eyes as they’re trying to follow what I’m saying. And then we put it into motion. This time it flew.

The new plan required some re-thinking after that rehearsal to make sure I hadn’t changed us into a trap later on in the show. I’m confident we’re in good shape. But hell, I was confident in the original plan. This new plan feels much better than the original, both in how it’s going to allow us to rehearse in the next two weeks before we load into the theatre and how it’s going to make the flow of the show much more successful.  And dare I say-fun.

Everyone has the day off today after a fun, hard week of work and then tomorrow we turn the page into Act 2. Can’t wait.

Author: Warner Crocker

I stumble through life as a theatre director and playwright as well as a gadget geek...commenting along the way. Every day I learn something new is a good day, so I share what I find exciting, new, stupid and often worthwhile.

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