We moved into the space today with our good friends over at Mill 6! Usually we’d be heading back to the theatre tomorrow but working in rep things are a little different this time around. Monday and Wednesday Mill 6 will be in the space doing their tech and dress and Wednesday and Thursday we’ll be in the space before we open on Friday. (Mill 6 opens Saturday).
I’m always wishing we owned our own space. Like Meg, I drive or walk by empty buildings and warehouses and the first things I think are, “Are the ceilings high enough for the silks (this is the newest, but first thought now since Ovid)? Is there convenient parking and is there a nearby T? Is there room for performance and rehearsal spaces? When am I winning the lottery to afford construction and a lease or mortgage?” But never is this wish more of a burning desire than it is during a tech week. It starts out first as we start assembling the world we were playing in for 4 weeks at our rehearsal space into the theatre and for some unexplainable reason I start thinking of all the things I never thought to explore during rehearsals. What it is about being in the space that flips this switch in my brain I may never know. I start thinking how nice it would be to have 2 or 3 dress rehearsals to take in all of this new information.
Then, after we move in Sunday night, the next 3 days usually go by in a blur. We’re all working hard adding lights and sound and working in costumes and getting to feel the energy of the show in its new home. A lot of time is spent on the technical aspects of the show and as an actor I leave behind the fluidity and muscularity of working the production in order behind while we stop and go to fix and mark things. On a side note, something that I appreciate about Whistler is that we always come into the space having had a very solid 4 weeks of rehearsal, so it’s not as scary to lessen the focus on the acting and focus on these other equally important qualities as it has been in some processes I’ve been in where I feel like I barely know the layout of the world and now I have to set it aside for a couple of days and trust it will all come back together in a dress and a preview before opening night. By Wednesday night things are usually all in order and we’re ready for a dress or preview and I start thinking again how nice it would be to have another 2 or 3 days to get really comfortable with all the new information we’ve received and is now informing us in new and exciting ways.
Working on a schedule where we are sharing the space, all the things we usually do in those 3 to 4 days that I wish we had 5 to 6 days are being condensed into 2 (and now that 3 to 4 days are looking awful nice). I’m not worried. I know we have a solid production that we are all feeling good about and we are excited to be in the space and getting ready to share it with our audiences. But it felt a little odd yelling “See you Tuesday!” to P.J. our lighting designer (who is designing both shows) as I headed out of the theatre tonight. Meg and I are already planning on a lovely evening of dinner and line work on our second off night Wednesday. And this is going to be a good indicator for how a lot of next season is going to work as we head into rep with our friends over at imaginary beasts in the fall and then with ourselves in the winter. The days of 4 day tech weeks are going to start to feel luxurious!
But imagine how luxurious things would feel if we owned our own space and we could have a leisurely two week move from our rehearsal space into the theatre! Someday.
For now, hello tech week! I am excited, as I usually am, that you are here!