Friday, May 8, 2009

Rehearsal Progress Update

Well we are about to start our technical rehearsal and dress rehearsals. This means we have spent our time since our "work-throughs" on running the acts and then running the entire show non stop for the first time. This helps actors with usual challenges such as getting their lines down firmly, remembering their blocking so that it becomes second nature, and having a sense of progression of what scenes happen in which order. Running the play also helps actors realize some routes they have to take backstage after an exit in one area with their next entrance in a very different area; run-throughs also help with timing and pacing, and general continued comfortability with actor roles and character development in the play. These rehearsals are both challenging and rewarding.
The set and props have now been loaded-in to our venue, although more of the set arrives soon; the costumes arrive today and the sound designer and lighting designer are busy at work on their contributions to the production. Our in-house sound engineer helped us record actor voices which are used as a sound cue in a certain scene in the play. We have also begun to add musical cues performed on traditional Hawaiian percussion instruments as transitions and underscoring; these contributions are performed by Melissa M. Scalph.
Two of the actors and myself are going to do a live radio show promotion of the play tonight on WPFW on the Jay Nightwolf program. Promotion of the production is key as we don't wish to perform for an empty house!
Our next few rehearsals are for the designers and technicians to really focus on their aspects of the show and for the cast to add all of these technical and design elements to their acting; actors must now work with the entire set, with all of the props, in their costumes and make up, in all the lighting cues and hearing all of the recorded and live sound cues. It is all these elements added to the performing of the script which will make a production of this script come fully to life.
The countdown is on: technical rehearsals Sunday, dress rehearsals Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, NMAI members preview on Thursday, and performances on Friday and Saturday. Saturday's performance is followed by an audience discussion with the playwright, Ms. Victoria Kneubuhl. Following the final performance and talkback, it will be time to strike the set and all of the production elements to the bare stage of the Rasmuson theater and put our Hawaiian play to rest. The beauty and pain of live theater performances are in the realization that, like trade winds across the ocean, the experience is indeed an ephemeral one.

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