Friday, August 15, 2008

A Tale of Two Theatres

It has been a wild couple of weeks! I've been rehearsing Johnny On A Spot at The Theatre at St. Clements during the day and performing Kaboom at the Cherry Lane Theatre at night. It has been so cool to shuttle between these two historic Off Broadway theatres, to be working with exceptional casts and crews on 2 zany comedies!

We had a photoshoot at St. Clements last weekend, which was also the opening weekend for Kaboom! So I went from being a 1940s glamor gal for Johnny to a modern psychadelic bicycle messenger for Kaboom at night.

We were blessed with a full house for Kaboom on opening night, and received great response. Truly, we were just happy to get through a full run with lights and sound, because our opening night was our 2nd run with these elements! You see, that's the thing with the Fringe and with other festivals like NYMF. You don't get to rehearse in the theatre you're actually performing in. You get ONE rehearsal with tech (lights and sound) and that's it!

For The Tragic and Horrible Life of the Singing Nun, we didn't even get a full tech rehearsal because our tech was scheduled opening night! Those folks who've worked in musical theatre know how insane incorporating lights, scene changes, and sound can be, and to do it in a few hours is truly impossible. So I was seriously impressed that we were able to get through Kaboom with relatively few tech issues.

Also, something I've come to realize with festivals is that it allows authors the chance to see how an audience responds to their work. And that means that more often than not, the writer will make script changes, which means new or cut lines for the actors and cue changes for the tech crew, and the director will often find and give new directions. So a festival show will change from one performance to the next. And you know what? I LOVE IT! It is a wild and wooly ride, but if we let go and really go with this ride, it can be a blast! I've learned so much from it! And you know, I suspect that there are many shows in many venues, film and TV included, that make changes the spur of the moment in order to create a better production. It's all a work in progress. And there are beautiful discoveries to be made along the way.

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