NOTES FROM TECH by Geoff Bryant

So I’ll start with Wednesday because while I stopped in, I never got to write about it.

It’s Wednesday, a week after I was last there, and a week before the first preview show. To me, things had come a long way. The actors weren’t using scripts in their hands – though they certainly asked for a line fairly often. They had many details worked out unlike the week before. It was looking good to me.

And they worked again on the double dutch jump rope. I don’t know how that’s going to work.  Terrell almost had it on one run, but many times, well, it failed. Valiant efforts and Terrell must be tired. During the show, they won’t get the repeated tries. I for one, will be more nervous about this than the average member of the audience when I come on my night as a subscriber.

Other than that – things looked good. Especially the Nixon play – that one is really good.

Turns out this is around the end of the day. Time to take 10 and Sean is out somewhere.    Another cohort (I think that’s who he is) and I get a chance to chat with the cast. I say how things look so good and how much progress I see since the last time I came by.  I ask if this is the usual amount of time they have before a show and Veronica says this is typical.     Seems like a tight timeframe and I’m impressed. Now, while they were going through the plays, Sean was pretty much quiet and things went along. After the take 10, Sean was back and the coach spoke. He talked about them needing more focus and how little time was left – a mere two more run throughs before the first preview night. Time is tight. Then he gave them a real pep talk with so many positive things. I guess they need to be further along, but to my amateur eyes, this amazingly talented cast is getting so much done, so fast, I’m truly impressed. And they are truly a team; if they weren’t this show would be impossible. But as I wrote before, there are so many details and so little time.

Oh, and Nael gets an award. Shaving off your beard is something I would never do.    I’ve had it since 1981.

No way does that go. True dedication there Nael!

And now on to Friday night. I was with my wife who was getting an MRI done, so I was waiting and reading the script. I was so surprised to read the lines of one of the early Presidents and what do you know – there’s the Trump script. Pretty cool. Hopefully I’ll find time to read the rest.

And now it’s Saturday and I got another chance to drop by. I was eager to drop in and see tech day.

First thing is getting in. My eyes were adjusted to daylight and I tried coming into the theater on stage left because that’s the way I always go in to our seats. Well it’s dark and filled with stuff and I’m just glad I didn’t knock anything over, break something, or make a loud sound. I quietly backed out and came in the other side.

There is stuff everywhere. There are tables with all the light and sound controls and such in the seats.   There are props and whatnot on the sides. And health food at the bar and near the stage (donuts are health food right?).

Things have come a long way again with the cast. There lines are down and they have pacing of things looking pretty good. They are in costume. It is on the stage. It now looks like a play.

Back at the rehearsal hall it was a real treat to see the cast in normal clothes, as normal people working away.

It is a privilege to see them as Nael, Veronica, Celina, Terrel, and Aaron.

Now on the stage they are the cast. They are on the stage and I’m out in the audience.     Different perspective.

Now the focus is also different. The cast looks to have much down, but the sound and lights, and props are the work (well, props have been going along the way…).  Listening to the talk about cue 14.whatever and all the timing of that is yet more details to work out.  I’m a new cohort, so I haven’t watched this before, but it sure seems to me that there are way more complicated details to work out in this play than I bet the normal show has. I guess I’ll know when I see another production come together.

Today also had the funniest thing I’ve seen – Godzilla Aaron. So the white house is to burn down. The first thing I see is this little model white house, Aaron is there and nothing really happens. Another try and plastic fire comes out of the roof – slowly. So slow and lame it’s actually really funny.  But I guess it’s supposed to be fast – there is little time for each play after all.

So they do it again and Aaron goes Godzilla on the flame and the white house. It was hilarious.    I couldn’t stop laughing. Sean and folks behind me are working on possibilities. Can we project flames?  Can we have the sound of flames? How about smoke instead?  Smoke in a can?      E-cigarettes?  Someone puffs out the smoke of an e-cigarette? Lots of choices. Amazing is that in another run there is the sound of fire – how did that happen so fast? Anyway, the cast is no longer the focus it was before and another million details to work on. And it’s Saturday and the first preview is Wednesday. So little time. Can this all really come together?

I still would love to see Godzilla Aaron – just way too funny…

And a last thought. This is a holiday weekend and these folks are working 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM.  Monday is labor day. Let’s thank the cast, director and crew for all the hard labor going into this show. Thanks everyone.

And thanks for having me as a cohort. This is a blast.

-Geoff  Bryant, Cohort

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