Tonight I saw a run through of the first one act play in the Bill And Peggy Hunt Playwrights’ Festival, Bottom Line. It’s a story of a young couple who have bought a winning lottery ticket.
I was there because I’ll be designing the lights for the festival, so I need to see the actors as they move around the set. Playwright Judith Jacobs was also there to see how the play she wrote was shaping up. As director Robert Harkins told me, one of the fun things about rehearing a one-act play is that he can have the actors do a quick read through, and then do a complete run through afterwards, and they can still be done in a couple of hours.
Since we’re only a few days from tech week, the actors were using just about all the props they will be using in the show, or reasonable substitutes. It’s time to work out all the details of staging that don’t involve costumes, sound, and lights. It looked like they had a good handle on things.
In fact, they ran through the play twice. After the first run through, there were quite a few notes, and after the second there were very few. Judith and Robert discussed some dramatic points about the play, and I asked a question or two, then we were done.
For me, this looks like a simple show. The action is confined to one set, a living room. If it weren’t for the fact that the actors spend a part of the show sitting on the floor, it would be easy. Since we tend to have to cover a lot of the stage with lighting during a Playwrights’ Festival, I’ll just need to be a little more careful when I aim. That’s not a big deal.
On Saturday, I get to see the full length play “Undiscovered Places” for the first time, and then we set up the lights on Sunday.