I don't have very much to say today- I spent the day being very busy backstage rather than being on a lookout for blog fodder. We had our dress rehearsal this morning, and it was wonderful. At 4:30 we all sat down in Aidekman 75 to go over notes.
Tomorrow is our first show. Break a leg, everyone involved! EVERYONE ELSE: COME SEE US! The show is in Balch Arena at 9pm tomorrow, and Monday at 8pm!
It is now 6:30pm on Friday. Everyone lies down meditatively while Nadav gives a pep talk before we have yet another run of the show.
"Think of your favorite part of the show. Think of everything you've done, in the... what has it been, four days since we started? Just breathe. Relax. When you're ready, get up slowly and set up from the top of the show."
Thanks to Rachel A for taking all the following photos during our run!
Rachel A and I are on headset backstage for the show. It is very exciting. We get to listen in on Esti calling cues to lights and sound, and have a line of communication open between the booth and backstage.
Though we had a few minutes of down time during the cue-to-cue, during the show we will be much too busy to take pictures on my computer. We two are in charge of all of the set changes. We've been practicing our transitions to make sure that they happen quickly and smoothly. Sometimes we had to run the same bit three times in a row, each time dividing the work a little differently, using a different entrance, or simply practicing another time to make sure we all knew where we were supposed to be. As Rachel A says, "Basically, we be bosses."
Cue-to-cue is one of the most frustrating times for an actor, but one of the most important parts of the tech process for designers and crew. During cue-to-cue, rather than just running the show from the top right on through, we jump from each cue to the next where possible. That means that sometimes we skip an entire song because there are only cues at the start and end of a song. At other times, we do the same song three times in a row, because there are so many cues that we stop at each one and then need to see them all together
My job before, during, and after the show-- besides acting as run crew with Rachel A, moving set pieces-- is to take care of props. I set up the props table early this morning.
Each prop used during the show has its assigned place, and each one is labelled.
One of our most difficult scenes to set up takes place on a rooftop. We are using black rehearsal blocks to create the edges of the rooftop. Somehow, we have discovered one of the strangest optical illusions. From one side of the stage, the boxes all appear perfectly aligned:
But somehow, from the other side, it is clear that they are not even close:
You can see Nadav and Esti discussing this crazy phenomenon as Rachel A tries to puzzle it out.
What?! We must have re-set that scene ten different times before we decided that we just couldn't have the rooftop on an angle-- the only way that made any sense at all was when we aligned the boxes with the floorboards.
Our rehearsal today ran from 10am until 4pm. The first hour or so was spent with a props parade, the actors getting into costume, and Rachel A and I going over the set pieces with Katie (the set designer). The props parade was when Hanna (props designer) showed all of the final props to Nadav for his approval. After all these were done, we all gathered in the Arena preparing for cue-to-cue. We began cue-to-cue at around 11:30 and only had the space until 4. In a feat of theatrical amazingness, we finished with about 30 seconds to spare!
After a brief production meeting (which was record-time short. "Costumes, any notes?" "nope!" "How about set, any notes?" "nope!" and so on.), we had a break for dinner. You might think that at that point we'd call it a day, but not during O-show! At 6, the cast reconvenes in Aidekman 75 for another full run of the show!
Meet the cast. From left to right, this is Rachel R, Jenna, Josh, and Matt. As busy as everyone is, I won't be interviewing each of them as thoroughly as our production assistant, but here are some comments from the group.
How did you decide to become involved with the Orientation Show?
Josh: I've never worked on a O-show before, and as a rising senior, this was my last chance to experience the whirlwind. And when I saw what a great group of people would be involved, I decided to audition!
Matt: It was after a final and I really wanted to just do something crazy and fun. It sounded like a great experience, and I wanted the freshmen to be able to know who I was.
Rachel R: I had a really fun time doing The Fantasticks last semester. I wanted to do another show and I wanted to be here during orientation.
Jenna: I was going through theater-withdrawal at the end of Pippin last semester, and when I heard from upperclassmen there was this crazy fun experience I decided to audition. And it didn't hurt that I got to return to Tufts a week early for rehearsal!
How did you prepare over the summer for the hectic Orientation week?
Josh: We got our music during the summer and we were expected to come into rehearsal with it all memorized.
Rachel R: I listened to the CD a katrillion times and sang along with it, and then memorized all my music and such.
Jenna: I listened to the music basically every day because I was so excited!! I would be hanging out with my friends and randomly change the music to the Ordinary Days CD for them..... I'm sure they loved that.
What is your favorite part of the production?
Matt: I just love seeing the growth process and just seeing if we can really do this in one week.
Jenna: I've loved getting to know everyone in the cast and working on the show. I've made a lot of new friends!
What's your favorite part of the show?
Rachel R: I like having the opportunity to act like I'm freaking out in the song "Calm."
Josh: I have a lot of favorite parts. I love getting to act out my character's breaking point and we have some great harmony parts.
Are you a drama major/minor?
Jenna: I think I'm going to minor in drama! I'm taking "The American Musical" this semester so we'll see how that goes.
Josh: I'm a drama major with a minor in child development.
Rachel R: No! My majors are clinical psychology and child development. It's really awesome how at Tufts you can be involved with theater even if its not academically.
Now you know a little bit more about the cast and the O-Show!
Today, the full cast and crew all squeezed into Aidekman 75 to watch the full run of the show. This is the first time we've put everything all together. We ran the whole show straight through, stopping only for transitions because we haven't really worked those all out yet.
THIS SHOW IS SO GOOD! I am so excited for all you people to see it! I admit, I may be biased by being on the p-staff. However, getting the chance to sit back and watch the show today was a wonderful experience, and I can tell that the performances will definitely be something worth seeing.
I've asked Nadav what he's most proud of so far, and what he's most worried about for the rest of tech:
"I'm most proud of how hard and diligently everyone is working, and how it's paying off. I'm not worried about anything. It's going to be AWESOME."
After the run, we are spending the rest of the day working through fixes. We have just been told by Katie, the set designer, that we won't be able to stand on our bench. Now Nadav and the actors are going back through the show to isolate any place where the blocking called for someone to jump up onto the bench, and re-blocking those parts.
Tomorrow we will have cue-to-cue, during which I will be very busy but also will later have a lot to tell you all about. For today, there's not much more to say. We just keep chugging along, as the performances get closer and closer. Get excited.