And here we are at Sunday again.
It’s been a long week. It was a week full of lots of boxes, and driving, and meetings, and building, and more driving, and rehearsal, and more driving. Most importantly, it was tech this weekend for I Hate Hamlet!
I’ve actually been quite excited to tech this show, because we’ve been rehearsing for a while and I was looking forward to adding the technical elements and seeing everything come together. Also, this is the first time since the Nerd that I’ll be in the booth instead of backstage, so I’m looking forward to being able to watch the show and do the cues (although I’m not calling the show, I’m just running the boards myself, as the booth is small and I don’t think there would be room for board ops up there with me). It takes a bit of getting used to, as for some of the lighting/thunder/storm sequences there’s several buttons that have to be pressed simultaneously/in quick succession, but it’s coming along.
Tech went very smoothly, all things considered. I love it when it does, because then I can focus on the show and not be distracted by the stress of things not working. And this really is one of my favorite parts of theatre. Every show goes through various stages, and some of my favorite parts are the very beginning–the first read-through, when everything is new and everyone is excited about this thing they’re going to be making together–and the tech or dress or previews, whenever the first day is when everything is onstage as it will be in the performance. It’s so amazing to see all the hard work of so many people over so many weeks come together into something awesome. We have a fantastic set for this show (I will post pictures of it eventually, I promise), and put together with the costumes and the lights (including a fake fire that looks fantastic!) and the music and sound cues, it just brings the show alive. We cut off two minutes from each act during our tech run today, despite a few technical difficulties, and I think it’s just because of the energy that having everything actually THERE created for the actors. It was great, and I can’t wait to see how it develops as we get more comfortable with everything.
There’s a line in the show, during a sword fight between two of the characters (yes, there’s a sword fight. It’s awesome). The ghost of John Barrymore is trying to get the actor he’s training to play Hamlet to fence with him (I promise it’s not as weird as it sounds), and he says, “This is why one acts. This is why actors are envied. We are allowed to do this sort of thing.”
And that, I think, is a really good expression of one of the reasons I love doing theatre.
We are allowed to do this sort of thing.
We are allowed to play around with swords, and steal a bit from the beginning of the Princess Bride sword fight because it’s cool, and act out seances and play with lights and build a huge fireplace with painted marble and a fire made from spinning metal bits and a light. We are allowed to play at make believe, and have fun creating a world that expresses things about life that people don’t always know how to express.
So even though it meant that I spent a good part of a really gorgeous weekend in a dark windowless room (not to mention Saint Patrick’s Day, if I was into that sort of thing), I had fun, and I’m very excited for this show.
Huzzah for tech week!