Watching the Work

I teach acting on Monday nights, so was late to tonight’s “Grand Duke” rehearsal.

We’re in the final week before moving into the theater; which could be a time of chaos and stress.  So it was wonderful to walk into a roomful of calm, attentive people in the midst of reviewing material and cleaning up staging! Everyone focused, everyone working. Dance Captain, Pam had things well in control. So I quietly sat with Donna at the Stage Manager’s table and reviewed my notes from yesterday’s run-through.

And then I watched.

They worked and I watched.

I’m not going to say I didn’t participate at all but, for the most part I was an observer.

There’s a strangely little-known fact about a performance. It must be watched — constantly.  Yes, it will ultimately be seen by an audience.  But at every step in the process it must be watched by directors, stage managers, choreographers, musical directors.  Only an outside eye (ear) can tell if the overall structure is balanced and holding together; and if each of the actors seems to understand their particular role and how it fits into the overall performance.

The actors are also watching themselves.  Each of them is accutely aware of their own performance and is constantly self-correcting, self-challenging, and re-calibrating.

The developing performance must also be watched by costume designers, lighting designers, set designers, properties designers, tech crew, etc.  They’re building the world in which the performance will happen. The performance must fit that world.  And that world must fit the performance.

So we all watch as a performance grows.  And we continuously work towards a perfect fit of all the pieces into a unified whole.

Your first chance to watch the work is Thursday, March 30th.  Have you got your tickets?



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