Because we have a number of new families with us, I wanted to give a run-down about some tech week expectations and what you can expect from us.
The weekend before a show opens is a critical time for a play. Tension can be high, because of the new elements being added very quickly, and morale can dip because of uncertainty. However, if these conditions are expected, it’s easier to see them for the butterflies that they are and put them in perspective.
On Saturday, the crew will arrive very early to prepare prop tables, test lights, make special marks for organization, etc. It can be hard to predict the order and duration of tasks because of the new tech elements that roll in, but somewhere at tech, at every moment, some team is working hard, efficiently, and quickly. A few hours later, the actors arrive and sign in. For us, ten minutes early is on time, and that’s standard in all theaters. After that, they organize the dressing room, try on costumes, etc. They also get a backstage tour and have safety features reiterated.
Ideally, the show is ready to roll around 1. We try to run the show with light cues often being added and written as we go. No two shows are alike. Sometimes, we can run the play straight through. Sometimes, complicated tech issues require us to go “cue-to-cue” and jump over sections that are unrelated to tech. We try to let out between 6-8, although we leave this open-ended in case of extraordinary circumstances. We’ve never gone later than 9, averaging a dismissal around 7. Usually a meal is served around 4.
Sunday is similar, except that we often focus on sound and body mics.
On both days, promptness and patience are key. Actors are asked to bring homework and books, and those who take advantage of the “wait” part of “hurry up and wait” tend to stay on schedule with schoolwork and are more relaxed as the week continues. They are asked to remain quiet once the run begins, listening for direction and making life easy on the crew. If people approach it with a mix of professionalism, team spirit, and good cheer, techs can be a good time for the team to cement.
In the weeks leading up to tech and tech itself, attendance is mandatory. If one person is missing or leaves early, it might affect a team of people whose lines, movements, scenery, and stage effects are based on them. No part is too small to be a keystone in moments like that!
The week following is for dress rehearsals. The actors and crew are required to stay on campus between school and the rehearsal to avoid traffic delays or worse. Parents provide food, ensuring that participants have a good meal, and there’s usually down time for homework if they take advantage of it. The runs usually begin around 6-6:30 because we have professional orchestra members who have day jobs, and that’s the earliest they can get here and get ready, safely and sanely. It’s well worth it. The shows usually run 2 hours or a bit more, however, we have to get both acts in, and we put a premium on using time as efficiently as we can.
Afterwards, I usually wait to give notes the next day so that they can clear out quickly, although they are asked to stay until the dressing room and green rooms are clean.
In all of this, family (and extended family) members are more than welcomed to watch any part of rehearsals they like. In fact, it can really help the performers! So, if you arrive to pick someone up, no need to stay in the car… join us!
Tech begins on October 27. Exact arrival time is TBA. Please do not sign up for ACT on that day.
We have had inconsistent attendance at choreography rehearsals. Non-attendance may result in removal from select numbers.
We have hired a professional costumer who will take care of the show. Independent additions or deletions to his plot are not options. Thank you for working with us on that.