Hot Summer Days
The Quad is a challenging space for many reasons- its monstrous size, its lack of proper acoustics, the limitations in terms of set design, defining the audience space . . . Shall I go on? One of the biggest challenges, however, has nothing to do with the design of the Quad and everything to do with the concept of "outdoor summer theatre." While few things are more fun than summer theatre the exposure to the elements wears upon cast and crew throughout the rehearsal process. Last week's rehearsals in the heat (topping in the high 90s) were a test for their strength and endurance as they faced maintaining a level of high energy and the looming possibility of heat stroke under a blazing and unforgiving summer sun. Thankfully, they all made it through with few complaints. Thursday, however, was particularly brutal. Kudos to Alex, in particular, who is in nearly every fight . . . and dies in spectacular fashion at the end of nearly every fight. This, of course, requires Alex to spend a lot of time on his hands and knees and the burning hot concrete. The lives of actors are glamorous indeed.
In spite of the heat, progress was made. Act II is blocked and will be celebrated with . . . a Monday evening Slop Through! As I have reminded the cast on several occasions- Act II is far more complicated than Act I. The inclusion of jazz music, the shorter (nearly overlapping) sequence of scenes that build to the play's climax, and the complicated fight choreography are just a few of the challenges we face as we move into Act II working rehearsals.
Blocking Act II, with or without the heat, presented a challenge in and of itself in that the pace is so different and many of the scenes feature most of the cast members. In particular, the premonition scene and the banquet scene were particularly complex. Looking forward to seeing the whole play tonight in rough form. We've got a ways to go, but I can see things coming together.