After a few hours of the tech rehearsal, I understand a bit more of Sean’s comments “see how we put this cue/prop/everything heavy play together.”
What an effort. As I continue to say my ignorance is massive. I felt for the performers, who now need to take all that work from the rehearsal hall and integrate it with all the other components: sound, lights, props, blocking, …. Such a tangle of items. I got to watch as Sean, saw both things he wanted to change, and opportunities he came across, as he worked with the performers to see if the timing would work. His question: “Can you get from there to there while the scene unfolds?” Oh you can, well lights can we get them illuminated? Of course this continues for seemingly every moment of the play.
Of course with the scenery the placement of items is different from the rehearsal hall. Oh the cards fell, so Nael dealing with that means he missed a cue. Oh start again what happened? Oh Celina can you do this different so that does not happen? Now repeat, next action, repeat. I have to say I admire the professionalism of the actors to handle this start, stop repeat. I do not believe that I could ever start and stop in the middle of so much, so often. Then to see the crew discuss how to handle the balloons. The issues from high school physics that suddenly apply, i.e. static electricity which of course Benjamin Franklin experimented with, (and speaks in the play,) now is affecting the prop. I did not see the solution, but I am very impressed with the team discussion. It is clear to me that together these folks have a wealth of experience that is coming to bear on the problems.
So much more detail than I saw in the rehearsal hall, and now it comes together even more, and the actors just ‘get it’. Wow, I sure have a continuing appreciation for the effort, things that are discussed that will rarely be the focus of any one in the audience. Things such as do we see the portrait or the name of the president first? What is the action of the actors that cues this change? Is this always the case or are their exceptions? As I have said before in watching these questions, discussion and decisions I have a new appreciation for Sean’s value as the director. Of course all this said, it takes a team to realize the visions and given what I am seeing I think Sean leads a great team.
I am looking forward to what is ready for the public and seeing the adjustments that will be made.
-Richard Pitkin, Cohort