Show Progress

I can’t believe I’ve hardly written about Time Stands Still on this blog. I suppose between its rehearsals and teaching, plus my tourguiding job, I haven’t really had the time.

Basically, it’s going well. The script is so fantastic and makes my job really easy (most of the time.) And my co-star, the one who is playing my boyfriend/fiance/husband/ex-husband, is so great. As a cast, we’ve been clumsily figuring out how to work together and how to make our chemistry dynamic, and when Jon and I found our chemistry last week, our scenes took off and climbed to a whole new level. Even the seemingly simple task of touching each other’s hands, awkward when we first met, is now a great way to convey our characters’ closeness, even after their break-up.

I’m also really enjoying working with the director and stage manager. As a full group, we can have great, interesting, in-depth conversations about the script and characters and toss ideas around. Our director is four years younger than me, but he’s great and asks us probing questions to help us figure out how each moment should be played out, which is exactly the kind of directing I love. Our stage manager does the same thing, and they make a really awesome team. I had a huge concern about a scene at the end of act one, and I was worried that they wouldn’t like me asking about it. However, it was enough of a concern that I voiced it and in the end, they and Jon helped me see how to work with the material (and Jon) to convey what the playwright wanted.

But not everything is perfect. One of the other actors likes to commit the theatre faux pas of giving his fellow performers notes- something that’s considered extremely rude and unprofessional in any theatrical setting. I ignored it for a good month, but last week, he crossed the line by actually instructing  me how to say a line, so I went to the director who, true to form, had already talked to the actor about it. Yesterday was my first rehearsal with that actor since then and he didn’t do anything offensive, so we’ll see if he’s learned his lesson.

We also had HUGE problems with the other girl in the cast. After our second rehearsal in July, she got into a car accident on the way home. She was fine, but her car wasn’t, and we understood when she said that it would be hard for her to get to rehearsals without a car. We brought in an understudy, a girl named Meg who was just as good. That was three weeks ago. While I don’t know what was going on on the managerial end, I gather from passing comments that our stage manager had been checking up on her every few days, seeing when the girl would next be able to come to rehearsal. Finally, she said she could come starting last Wednesday, but fifteen minutes before rehearsal started, she texted our director and told him that she was sorry, but she had to work a double and couldn’t make it. This would have sucked in general, but fifteen minutes before rehearsal, everyone else (including people who were only needed for her scenes) was already there. Long story short, when I arrived at rehearsal yesterday, Meg had officially been made part of the cast. Considering that Meg has been to about three times as many rehearsals as the original girl, this is certainly the safer choice, since I have the sneaking suspicion that the other girl hasn’t touched her script since the last time she was at rehearsal.

We’ve already run both acts once, and we’re running Act 1 again tomorrow. Our off-book date is Friday, but this show is so intense that I finished memorizing ten days early so I could run it like crazy to have it down cold. I feel like I’ve been slacking on that second part, but I’m further along than anyone else, so I guess I’m all right.

When I play a character I really love, I never want to let them go, and this is one of those times. Already I’m getting sad that I’ll be finished with this part and this play in less than a month.

That being said, there’s still so much to do: we just got the first whisper of costumes yesterday, and tomorrow, in addition to running Act 1, we’re also prepping all the costumes we can AND taking promo pics (a part of acting that I HATE with a burning passion), and then Sunday is our first full run-through. It’s going to be crazy for the next few weeks as we work up to our only performance day, but I love this play so much that I can’t wait to do it more frequently.


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