Jonathan Kaufman 20 June 2019
Another rehearsal day and six more plays to stage, including some of the more unusual pieces.
Co-director Lucy Kaufman and myself have fun with the cast, solving some the more difficult staging issues – for example, how do you show characters fixing a broken down car when said car has to be off-stage? Cue ingenious ideas about turning a baked bean tin into a piston the characters can tinker with on-stage, plus the ingenious use of sound FX of course. Another play has to convey the idea of both cycling and driving – again, without much of a budget, we have to use our imaginations and some simple staging devices, plus sound FX.
This is one of the pleasures, as well as frustrations, of taking untried pieces and making them work on stage – inviting the audience to suspend their disbelief just enough, but not cheating them. After all, the human imagination has an amazing propensity to envisage things it can’t actually see.
So now to today’s tech rehearsal, which elsewhere I’ve explained is where you run each scene – or playlet in this case – with all the costumes, props, lighting effects and sound cues. It’s the first chance for the lighting/sound operators to see the show and know what they have to do – plus the actors get to try out quick costume changes and the size and acoustics of the theatre space. It should take about four and a half hours, we hope. Though I have known tech rehearsals to last two days!
And then tonight…the first performance. Will we be ready? Of course, the magic of theatre will ensure that we will be!