BWW Blog: Ed Dixon of Casa Manana's OSWALD: THE ACTUAL INTERROGATION - Rehearsal Space to Stage
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
We gained an hour after the day off and then didn't start until three thirty, so by the time we got back in the rehearsal room, we all felt like we'd had two days off. Somehow this brief rehearsal period has made time stand still in several ways and I'm currently feeling like we've been here for weeks. We did a few touch up rehearsals on particularly tricky bits and then started another run-thru. It went surprisingly well and there were only a couple of dropped lines... which we all felt we could have covered for had we actually been in performance. A great relief. I know I've mentioned this before, but because it's an interrogation, this script has more non-sequiturs than any script I've ever seen, so feeling the kind of ease with it that we're all having at this point is a relief that's almost inexpressible. After the run-thru we went over to the theater (across the driveway) and had some gun safety for the two infamous shootings in the show. We also saw the set for the first time... which is AWESOME. Congratulations to the entire Casa crew on this!
Monday, November 4, 2013
Last day in the rehearsal space. We started the day early with doing some scene work and touching on some of the more difficult group scenes. Then we did a designer run, so we had a roomful of sound, lighting, costume and set people. First time in front of people. This is normally a hard day with a comedy since they're busy taking their own notes about the show and never laugh or applaud which makes one feel very ineffective, but with a serious drama like this it was quite encouraging since they were dead quiet. We did quite a good first act, but in the second act, yours truly took a wrong turn at Albuquerque and ended up thrown back into a climactic moment in the FIRST act. I didn't realize it at first, and when we went back to fix it, I did the same thing a SECOND time... in front of the whole staff. Well, I suppose it's better that such a mistake happens now rather than on opening night. My next order of business is to sit down with the script and figure out how the hell that happened and how I can make it NEVER happen again. Fast.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
First day on stage. The design by Colt Frank looks really fantastic in the space. I had only seen the model previously, but the full blown version is both intimate and grandiose in the most wonderful and contrasting way. We spent a lot of time on lighting cues but still managed to make it all the way through the first act teching and then go back for a complete run-thru. Dennis Richard, the playwright, arrived just before the run-thru and we all got to chat with him a bit before we started. Someone (not me this time) jumped a cue and we ended up cutting ten pages of dialogue, so we had to stop and go back, but other than that, it was a really, really clean first act. Hard to believe we only started this last Monday.
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Started on stage with more bits and pieces, then we were joined for the first time by the local singers who will be participating in the JFK tribute in the final moment of the play. Once we finally got it up and could see the whole impact (with a bit of shortening of the original idea) everyone got on board and realized that Wally's idea to end the play this way was a good one and it's now going to be a part of the event. Three Casa singers in the audience begin The Battle Hymn of the Republic as the cast freezes and a gigantic projection of Kennedy's inaugural address plays behind us. Very moving. After teching this, no small thing, we did a dress run and I'm happy to say there were no glitches or memory failures and everyone was quite exhilarated, especially the author who gave kudos all around.
Thursday, November 7, 2013
We didn't start until two pm so I paid another visit to the amazing Botanical Gardens that lie smack between our hotel and the theater. Incredibly awesome. Then some spot checks on the traditional trouble areas of the play and another run-thru which was the smoothest ever. I will never forget the speed of this entire process and how we managed to pack so much rehearsal into such a small period of time. The last thing to be done is always the curtain call, so as we began staging that, I knew we were truly approaching the finish line. I drove home and slept deeper and longer than I have since I started working on this play several months ago.