Monday, May 12, 2014

Wait Until Dark

I would be awfully upset if I didn't dedicate a bunch of writing to my most recent exploit. For the better part of the past 6 months I have been working as a stage manager for a local production of Wait Until Dark.  I think I already mentioned it briefly...  But I have some pictures and just wanted to write a bit more about how rewarding it was, about how I had a great time doing it, and about how getting involved outside of your comfort level is a good thing.

So basically the director Garry Larose asked me well over a year ago if I would take this on.  I almost immediately said yes, he got me a script, and then the project never really moved until last December.  We first assembled the team of construction people, wardrobe, a producer, sound and lighting engineers, and so on.  We met as a group and came up with those ideas regarding how to put on this play from a technical point of view.  At any rate the group really understood how things would come together in a rough sense, but we had no actors.

We had lots of interest for the roles of Susy and Gloria.  We narrowed them down and settled on two amazing and talented actresses to play our lead female parts.  I had the job of telling them they had the roles, Garry had to tell the ladies that who didn't.  It is too bad, but that is the way theatre works; people have to fill roles, and people have to not fill roles...  Unfortunately there wasn't enough interest in our roles for the fellers.  If you auditioned, and sounded half decent, you were going to get a part.  Well, the guys sounded much better than half decent, so the only problem to overcome was finding one more person. 

So by now it is the first of February, two very talented actors, maybe three in fact, had to turn down the role for different reasons....  At the last minute one of the guys who already had a role mentioned that we should ask this guy from Clinton.  As it happened we did, he accepted, and low and behold a cast was nearly formed.  We still had two tiny, tiny, tiny roles to fill as police officers, but I could do it in a pinch, or anyone else with a heartbeat for that matter....  A few weeks later we found our two cops, they wouldn't have to come to any of the rehearsals.  Literally they only had to come to one practice before the dress rehearsal to get the jist of their part....  But they were great theatre support, and decided to poke in on the practices and help with other parts of creating the play.

So in February we read the play a few times as a cast, and in mid-March we'd start rehearsing.  There would only be six weeks until curtain.  With other commitments, the stage wouldn't be ours until mid-April which was only two weeks until the show....  We had to get a tonne of props to fill a 1960's Manhattan apartment which would not be easy...  There was a few road blocks along the way.  At one point an actor asked me why we started so late to rehearse!  Whoops...

In summary, we rocked out 6 fantastic shows.  There were 5 sell-outs, and 5 standing ovations...  It was just so rewarding in the end.  On a personal level, I was so pleased calling the show and managing the production along the way.  Considering I had never done it before, although I did shadow a stage manager last year during a production, I felt I did a very good job.  But, you need good people around you which there was.

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