Literally five minutes after the final show ends, the cast and crew take apart the entire set. The power drills are passed around to help dismantle all the benches and picture frames. The wood pieces are gathered up and thrown away. The pit area is cleaned up and all the music stands are returned to the SDS Room. All of the props and costumes are taken to our storage unit for use in future shows. Also, all the scripts and music scores are returned and a team of cast members goes through each one to erase all marks, so they can be returned in good condition. Finally, all of the discarded screws and wood splinters, and dust are swept up and the space in completely empty - ready for the next show to be built!
With two weekends of shows, we hold a brush-up rehearsal so that the actors can run through their lines and their blocking before performing again on Friday. Brush-Up rehearsals are meant to be fun, so this time all the actors when on stage had to keep a balloon in the air. The actors would try to knock each other's balloon out of their hands. It proved a lot more difficult and took a lot of concentration to keep the balloon in the air!
After weeks of hard work opening night is finally here! The cast are getting ready in the dressing rooms. The girls doing their hair and makeup and the guys getting help from the girls to do their hair and makeup.
Everyone arrives early at the theater to get ready and do their pre-show checks. For example, the stage manager sets out all the props, the light board operator checks that all of the lights are working, the sound board operator checks that all the speakers are working, and the mic technician puts mics on the actors while they do their vocal warm-ups. The theater is a buzz with activity - a mixture of excitement and nerves as everyone prepares for opening!
We hope to see you in the audience!
That title may or may not have been intended as a pun… Anyway, with a hectic rehearsal week and successful opening night behind us, it seemed like it was time to hear from some of the voices that the audience DOESN’T hear – because we’re playing our instruments instead!
Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Eric Engler, and I’m playing trumpet in the pit orchestra. As was mentioned in a previous post, our pit orchestra is a small-but-mighty six players – two violins, two “reeds” (who switch back and forth between different woodwind instruments), trumpet, and our music director, Charlotte Evans, on piano. Even though you may not see us, we’re certainly having just as much fun as the cast! Shows are always a joy to play as a musician, and Sondheim was certainly one of the greats.
For anyone who’s curious, the orchestra is situated behind the curtain upstage right (or audience left). A major shoutout to the cast for a SUPERB opening night, and here’s to a great run!