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7. First Time Director: Dress Rehearsal

November 8, 2010

Production ran the program of plays in sequence, to get a handle on the overall timing for the six plays of Program One. This is the first time anyone has seen “Francis and Sophy” who wasn’t also directing it.

Afterward we all sat around in a big circle to critique each others’ plays for what works, and what doesn’t. We are in with a pretty professional crowd here. No other first-timers around but me. Generally speaking, the play works. The script and performances reveal Francis’ slow physical and mental decline into hallucination and despair, fighting back the inevitable until the end. Your playwright is relieved.

Still, there is nothing like a dress rehearsal to show up how much unfinished business remains. The brass buttons on Francis’ uniform jacket have been sewn on askew. The Dickies logo still shows. The lights in track one are not aimed for Sophy’s appearance on stage. The choreography of the set alteration between scenes takes too long. Last minute revisions to the soundtrack arising from unexpected technical difficulties. Francis still on book, partly, but getting there. More movement, less accent, more props. better use of the ones we have. Look out for the unintended meaning in the way the Union Jack’s hung behind the set.

One more rehearsal tomorrow night, then—showtime Friday.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. karen permalink
    November 8, 2010 9:58 pm

    Take a deep breath. Think about it like a nearly complete construction job, this is tying up all the loose ends before completion. Your eye for architectural detail and design will serve you well. Breathe.

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