Nuts and Bolts

Tonight was our monthly production meeting.

This is when designers, technicians, producers, promoters, etc. all get together to discuss what everyone is doing, problems which need to be addressed, and to outline plans to smoothly move us toward Opening Night!

As much as I talk about what goes on in rehearsals, there’s equally as much going on in the warehouse, in living rooms, in offices, and in various other locales around the area.

The set crew has been meeting on Saturdays for some time now.  They’ve constructed and painted platforms, stairs, railings, backdrops, and the oh-so-exciting wall of portraits!

Likewise, the properties crew has been attending rehearsals, taking notes, and locating or constructing every item the actors will touch onstage. Books, baskets, hand trucks, feather dusters, backpacks, bouquets.  The list goes on and on.

Meanwhile, the costume crew has created sketches, taken measurements, sourced fabrics, scoured thrift shops, had initial fittings, and made alterations — creating just the right looks for three choruses, and 9 princpal actors. We’ve got a large cast — that’s a lot of clothing!

The publicity crew has been focused on creating and distributing promotional materials such as photographs, posters, postcards, press releases, ticket give-aways, etc.  There are a lot of seats in the Carolina Theater and we want to get as many butts in them as we can!

Hair and make-up has created make-up designs, styled wigs, sewn veils and headdresses, purchased masks — everything needed to make our cast look hauntingly beautiful.

Lighting Designs are being plotted, and cued; and readied to be hung, focused, and programmed as quickly as possible.  We have only two fleeting rehearsals in the theater before we welcome our first audience.  And you can’t actually light a show until it’s actually on the stage.

The producers have read all the fine print, managed the budget, signed the contracts, made the deals, haggled the haggles, juggled the schedules and the personalities; and who knows what else?

Hats off to all these hard workin’ folks — many of whom wear multiple hats!

*****

I’ve talked a lot in the past about how the process of making theater is the process of turning dreams into reality.  In the initial stages of any production, everything is a fuzzy fantasy of absolute perfection.  The details aren’t worked out and you’re not quite sure how you’ll make it happen.  But it’s a dream worth shooting for.

Then you start building the thing.  And you get splinters, and cuts, and bruises. Exhaustion takes you by surprise.  You hit dead ends and you are forced to re-invent the wheel at times.  But you keep going.  And you make the thing.

And the thing is never exactly the fuzzy perfection you might’ve dreamed of — because fuzzy perfection simply can’t exist in the real world.  And, besides, you’ve gained focus in the process of building it.  Now it is a brand new thing.  It’s a focused and functioning thing.

It’s a real thing —  which is it’s own special kind of perfection.

 

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