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Road to Opening Week 8: Matt Armet on 7 Weeks to A CHORUS LINE at Stratford

7 weeks until Opening Night

The train is going at full steam now and there is really no slowing it down until after Opening Night. This week has been full of a lot of fun things.

First off we had out Sitz Probe on stage which was amazing! Finally getting to dance and sing these numbers full out with the orchestra was incredible. Then we moved into our Tech Run on Tuesday. Tech run: A full run through of the show with all technical elements including lights, sounds, sets, even show shoes and props, just no costumes yet. During Cue to Cue week, we break the show down into pieces a lot, not focusing on the arc of the show. So it was so great to have a really solid Tech Run of the show.

The hardest part for us in this space has been working with sound. This space is incredibly unique for the sound department to design. In my limited knowledge of the amazing things that Peter McBoyle and his team do in Sound Design, it's hard to make sure that the balance of instruments and voices in the house sound incredible, while still making sure that us actors can hear the music on stage. We can have some spaces on stage that are at a very low level and others that are much higher all at the same time. I really don't know how they do it, but they have been working their magic and it's starting to all come together quite well.

Now! I won't lie, this was probably my favourite part of the week.

From day one of rehearsals, our stage management team had printed off all of our headshots to use for the iconic moment at the end of the Opening Number where we hold them up in front of our faces. During the second week of rehearsals our creative team realized that our current headshots are far too modern and we would need to retake new ones in the classic 1970s style. So because the Stratford Festival is an amazing place to work, we did just that. This past week we all had a photo session with our amazing Assistant Director, Ann Baggley, who is also an incredible photographer. They set up a little studio in Rehearsal Hall 2. We all got our hair and makeup and wardrobe done by the design team before we got to pose, and I mean POSE, for our new headshots.

Quote of the Week! So at the end of our rehearsals on stage, after Tech Run the other night, our designer Michael Gianfrancesco handed out eight different copies of Cynthia Smithers' new headshot (much to her chagrin lol) for cast members to hold up under the stage lights. To which one of our cast members said, "Only at the Stratford Festival do they print off eight versions of your headshot to decide which paper they like." This place is one of my favourite theatres to work at for this exact reason. The attention to detail in every aspect of a show is absolutely unbelievable!

I hope you all enjoyed our A Chorus Line Snapchat take over on Friday. We had a blast doing it! Make sure you keep following @stratfest for more awesome behind the scenes pics and videos from every show this season.

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From This Author Guest Blogger: Matt Armet

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