The Cast, Orchestra, and Music Director met for a Sitzprobe — or seated rehearsal. This is when the singers and musicians sit with the conductor to rehearse and integrate the vocal music with the instrumental.
No staging. No choreography. Just music.
Up until now all cast rehearsals have been with only piano accompaniment; or a cappella, even! The orchestra has also rehearsed on their own with the Music Director. But tonight was the first meeting of the two; and the beginning of what promises to be a beautiful collaboration over the next week.
But I wasn’t there.
I was at a Paper Tech — or technical rehearsal for writing cues on paper. This is when the Stage Manager, Lighting (and sometimes sound/video/etc.) Designer(s), and the Director meet to discuss the particulars of each technical cue, and to make sure everyone agrees on how and where they should be notated in the Call Script.
The Stage Manager will then use the Call Script to call the show during each performance. Which means she’ll communicate via headset with the front of house crew, backstage crew, lighitng board operator, sound engineer, and two follow spot operators to orchestrate every technical action which occurs during the performance. Cue pre-show announcement. House lights to half. Cue follow spot. Follow spot out. Stand by for light cue #7. House lights out… (and the overture hasn’t even started yet).
It took us three hours to talk our way through Act I. We’ll meet again tomorrow afternoon to talk our way through Act II and will then (hopefully) be ready for the remaining Technical Rehearsals — when everybody does everything all at the same time.
This is just a hint of what happens behind the scenes.
We don’t have any photos or videos of our Paper Tech. And they would be pretty boring if we did. So pay no attention to us folks behind the curtain, here’s a little snippet of the magic that was being conjured at tonight’s Sitzprobe….