Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Mo Brady (Gideon) - Rehearsal Update
I love the 5th Avenue Theatre. While I have strong feelings of affection for the company, its directors, and staff, I mean specifically the theater building. The auditorium, the lobby, the ceiling: the physical space itself. The first time I walked into the theater was in the mid-1990s, when my family got season tickets. I remember watching shows from high up in the balcony, thinking to myself, "This theater has got to be the coolest place on earth."
As a "recent rising star at the 5th Avenue" (or, at least according to David Armstrong's blog), I'm now familiar with the routine of mounting shows at this theatre. When I worked on Sweeney Todd, Company, and West Side Story, rehearsals began approximately a month before performances. For the first three weeks, we worked in studios on the 4th Floor of the Seattle Center House. Everything from our initial discussions of characters to our first run-through would take place in those studios. It wasn't until our technical rehearsals began, that we would even step foot inside the theater (except for the occasional costume fitting). It was like the theater itself was the carrot dangling at the end of our rehearsal process, motivating us to get to tech.
Rehearsals for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers have been different, in that we've used the theatre's new in-house rehearsal studios. These new studios, located in the basement of the Skinner Building, are great -- lots of room to relax, floor-length mirrors, a kitchen for heating up leftovers for lunch, and a serious lack of the dust bunnies that seem to seep from the walls of the Center House. And outside the studios, we have downtown Seattle, currently decked out in its Holiday glory. No offense to the Center House Food Court - I love me some Kehab House, but rehearsing downtown is a treat. Even so, our first three weeks were not spent in the theater itself, but one floor below. This time, the carrot was dangling even closer, but still just out of reach.
Tonight was our last rehearsal in the downstairs studios. At the end of the evening's run through, Allison Narver (our director and fearless leader), announced to the cast that our show was officially "too big" for the rehearsal room, and therefore we "must" move on to the stage for tomorrow's rehearsal. Of course, that isn't exactly how it works. The production staff carefully schedules our rehearsal schedule months the cast is even assembled. But even so, it was a nice complement and welcome reminder that we were finally moving upstairs and on stage! Tech week, here we come!