Mon/Tues/Wed were tech/dress rehearsals with very few stops, and at the end of the night we were sent home to sleep rather than staying for notes. Total luxury! And it is so nice to be able to saunter the two blocks home from the Lincoln Center!
Thanks to the publicity shoot, and green screen filming, the design team are well-practised in getting me into costume and make-up. I hadn’t had a chance to rehearse with my full harpy costume, so the run on Monday night was the first attempt at getting through the entire harpy speech with arms elevated over my head, carrying ski poles draped in fabric, with a mask on my face. Fun times.
Thursday was a free preview for students and educators, with a Q&A at the end of the performance. I loved walking into the Lincoln Center and hearing the orchestra rehearsing West Side Story in the auditorium next door. The national tour is currently playing in Fort Collins, and I got a kick out of being in the same building!
Overall, the show went well. A few technical hiccups in act 2, but the show went on, and we all survived. Totally thrilling to finally have an audience (especially my Aaron!), and a very receptive one too. We had a class of high school students who have been studying The Tempest, a group of uni students, and a dad with his young daughter, Katie. Although small, the Q&A was fun. It was great to receive feedback directly from the audience, and hear their different reactions to the show. I enjoyed chatting with Katie, who is performing in her school’s production of Beauty and the Beast. I was impressed that Katie’s dad was introducing his daughter to Shakespeare at such a young age.
We realized that, even with all the tech elements in place, the harpy scene was far too long and not quite packing the punch it needed. Overnight Denise sent revisions, and I had the fun of quickly re-learning lines.
It occurred to me afterwards that in high school, my class had gone to see a production of King Lear. We had spent the next day dissecting the performance, how they had interpreted the script, what they had cut, the various design elements etc. It was a delight to realize I am now on the other side, exactly where I have always wanted to be.
Friday was a corporate performance for one of the show’s sponsors, KUNC. A very different crowd from the student night. I love the challenge of performing for a quiet audience. You have to give the same energetic performance, even when you’re not receiving feedback from the audience in terms of laughs or visuals (in this show I generally can’t actually see the audience until curtain call. A mixed blessing), even when the audience is small, and even when the person in the third row is yawning or falling asleep.
A really lovely week surrounded by hard-working, awesome, folk. It’s great to be back in the theatre. The luxury of having my hair and make-up done each night, wearing a gorgeous costume, playing a fun character, and speaking delicious words. The lights, the hazer, the audience. The heart racing adrenalin of standing in the wings before your entrance, waiting for your cue... It’s good to be home.
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