Director’s Note #4

So, for everyone who has been reading these director notes, I really wanted to get more out during the course of our rehearsal period. However, as is typical for projects this size, it just took on a life of its own, if you will pardon the pun.

Russ Kay (The Creature) shows his suture makeup so director Steve Cooper can decide if it looks right under the theatre light - Frankenstein tech rehearsal, Sept. 26, 2011

Russ Kay (The Creature) shows his suture makeup so director Steve Cooper can decide if it looks right under the theatre light - Frankenstein tech rehearsal, Sept. 26, 2011

Image credit: All photos Craig Orsinger/Burien Little Theatre

Last week was scheduled for full run throughs of the show. We got a little off schedule and by mid week were running the show starting the evening with the second act! That is truly not how I would have liked to run the evenings. But, you just go with it. We have had costume fittings for all the actors, and make-up discussions for the Creature; I have been in meetings with the composer, the lighting designer and the set designer. We have put in many hours building the set and all the many, many small details on dressing the set. Decisions have to be made on the types of furniture, hand props, even the type of bedding we use. Right now I am watching our set designer make a painting choice that I am still now sure how it will turn out. It is a good thing I have worked with these people in the past and trust them all.

The actors have all been putting the finishing touches on their lines and characterizations. We have done some small changes in the blocking now that I have seen the entire set and can see the play as a whole.

The Frankenstein's study for the BLT production - Sept. 26, 2011

The Frankenstein study is ready, time to put on a show - Sept. 26, 2011

Now we are at the first day of tech week. Some actors refer to it as “hell week”, but I like the first name better. This week is all about the lighting, sound and costume/makeup. Tonight, I will get the chance to see and hear what the designers have had in their heads for the past several weeks. I get the chance to see if I have communicated my ideas to them correctly. Some tech weeks are indeed hell as the tech takes over and the nights get really long if I haven‘t communicated clearly. At our level, we don’t have time for 10 hour days dedicated to tech’ing the show. We have a very limited time period in which to accomplish what we need to do. I try to make it as easy as I can on our whole team by working on one act only per night. That means we will work the technical issues for the first act tonight, and the second act tomorrow night. This does mean we get only two nights to run the whole show as you will see it, but the tradeoff is that we are not all zombies in our day jobs. In any event, it will be a long week for us all.

With the opening of the show, my job is done. I will come back in to see performances, but the show’s life will continue to evolve without me. That is the nature of this business. That doesn’t mean the actors will substantially change the show as the run goes on, but it does

Director Steve Cooper works with Kendra Pierce (Caroline) to find where the light works best for a scene in the BLT production of Frankenstein during a tech rehearsal - Sept. 26, 2011

During a tech rehearsal, Frankenstein director Steve Cooper works with Kendra Pierce (Caroline) to find where the light works best for a scene, as composer Allan Loucks works at his console - Sept. 26, 2011

mean the performances will get richer and deeper. As it should.

My involvement with this project goes back at least three years. I had the idea to write a play based on the Frankenstein novel shortly after we did Dracula here. I took the idea to my friend Roxanne, who was also excited about the project. We waited several more years until I could get the show into BLT’s season, and we were off writing. Well, Roxanne was off writing. I just put forward some ideas during that period. Now we are five days from opening this show and it doesn’t seem all that long ago since we first talked about it.

My goal is to try and get one more note out during the week, maybe on Friday once we are ready to open. If I can’t however, I just want to pass along to you all that this has been a great project and I have been fortunate to be working with many talented people helping me bring this show to life. So, if I don’t get another note out, come see the show. I hope that with this blog and the others that Roxanne has done, you have all gotten a small glimpse into our world.

This entry was posted in Shows and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.