The End of the Beginning and the Beginning of the End

***Originally posted 1/31/15***

Today is the last day of January. The end of the beginning. It has been a great, full, powerful start to the year. If the term “start as you mean to go on” has any weight then this year is going to be great. This month, like every month since having my son, has flown by, as has the rehearsal process for How I Learned To Drive!

OK, those of you who are not in the theatre world, get ready for a crash course: We are getting ready to load into the Mesa Arts Center tomorrow. Basically, most of the time in the theatre world you only get to rehearse in the space you will perform if you are very lucky, and even then that space often has someone else’s set up while you rehearse.  Most of the time, you end up rehearsing in a different space, one that may or may not even be associated with a theatre. For How I Learned to Drive, we were in a classroom space at the Childsplay campus. We had a space that was CLOSE to the size of the blackbox we will be performing in and our stage manager and Assistant Stage manager taped out the approximations of the stage and our set as best they could so hopefully we won’t have to spend too much time re-spacing our show once we are in our actual performance space. And that’s a VERY good thing.

WHY? Because we only get ONE REHEARSAL in the space before we open. This is a little different than what happens in some theatres. Usually there are several rehearsals in the space adding to technical elements before the show opens.  It’s often referred to as tech week or hell week because the days are very long and because the technical aspects can get overwhelming- especially in something like a big musical production.

We have one rehearsal because we are sharing our week with the other fabulous show running in Class 6’s rep. This transition into our performance space also marks the beginning of the end of my work on this show. The show will run for several weeks, but my job in this last rehearsal is to turn everything over to my cast and my technical team. It is exciting and nerve wracking and even a little sad because I won’t be spending as much time with my story, but the finite time we get with each show is part of what I think makes this job beautiful. We will have one very long rehearsal of implementing all of our sound cues, adjusting to the new space and furniture, and doing a dress rehearsal and then I send this show out into the world and hope that it does some good and makes some people think and talk about things they may not have otherwise. But it all goes so fast.

I am so thankful for the time I get to spend working on this show and the smart, talented, hard working people with whom I get to work. February starts tomorrow and the additional word I’ve chosen for the month is Beautiful.

The world is filled with all kinds of beauty, and the fleeting beauty performance is one kind. So here we go, the end of the beginning, the beginning of the end, full speed ahead…

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