Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some things I forgot to mention...

Okay, so as I wrote my last post about "Oliver!" I did not take into account that maybe not everyone out there in the blogosphere who happens to come across my blog is a theatre person, and maybe not everyone knows the "phraseology," so to speak. So, here are just some words I will probably be using quite a lot for the next few months:

Musical Season - The time period between December and March, when all of the High Schools in the area are rehearsing their musicals. Production season is usually late February through late March, when all of the productions are (the schools try not to schedule their shows on the same weekend as another local HS.) During production season, my friends and I always try to get to the other high schools in the area to see their shows (NOT to pass judgement or promote our show, just to be supportive and start the standing ovation at the end in honor of our friends at other schools.) Since our production is the first weekend in March, hopefully we will be able to see most of the other shows without interfering with our own rehearsals.

Blocking (or staging) - the choreographed movements of the actors onstage. So, when I say HDT is "blocking" a scene, he went through the scene with those in it, telling them where to go/what to do and when to go there/do that. However, he does leave some blocking to interpretation with the actors (aside from like specific directions or "bits" he wants us to use.) He always says that if it feels natural to do something, go with it, and if it doesn't look good, he'll tell you. Blocking a scene generally can take from 30 minutes-1 hour, depending on how many people are on stage.

Bit (or business) - exactly what it sounds like. If two characters have "business" on stage, then they just have a little interaction together onstage that isn't necessarily indicated by the dialogue, but is added by the director or actors just to add humor or emphasis to that scene.

Hell Week - Also known as Production Week or Tech Week, this is the week of the performances, where we add all of the technical aspects of the production to the show, including costumes, make-up, lighting, set changes, etc. The reason it is called hell week is because the rehearsals of this week are every night, and can last as long as possible. Sometimes there are days when we start rehearsing right when school ends at 3:00, and don't go home until after 10:00 at night (3:00-5:30 Run, break for dinner, and then 7:30-10:00 Tech Run.) It is the most exhausting, demanding week of the entire school year. NOTE TO SELF: Get Hell Week assignments from teachers IN ADVANCE so you don't have to worry about homework stress during that week, and PRAY FOR NO SNOWDAYS!!! (During last years production of "Cabaret" there was a snowday during hell week, and since we legally can't come to the school for rehearsal when there's no school, we had to gather all of the students at a local elementary school and run through the dance numbers and songs. There was also rumor of bad weather for the production weekend and we ALMOST had to cancel one of the shows. Thankfully, everything was okay in the end.)

Run (or Run Through) - A Run Through of the show or a specific Act is basically going from beginning to end without stopping. Most of our Runs (be them Run Act One, Run Act Two or Run Show) are reserved for the two or three weeks leading up to hell week. However, before that, we do have something called a "Walk Through" or even a "Stumble Through," which can be earlier in the rehearsal process, and are mainly to see where we are in the show, and how far we need to go before Hell Week. They usually do involve stopping to ask for lines or correct staging.

"The HDT Flip-Out" - Again, exactly what it sounds like. Because our school's musicals often have a tendency to be very hectic and not fully come together until the last minute, during Hell Week, HDT will usually have at least one "Flip-Out." During said flip-out, he basically gives us the well-known speech consisting of "get your f***ing s*** together fast, or this show is going to suck." Of course, HDT's version of the speech can generally include a lot of yelling (and more profanity.) He always manages to include the fact that on opening night, he will have his car parked right outside the door of the building, keys in hand, ready to leave during intermission if he feels that the audience will be extremely disappointed. However, through-out the history of the STHS musicals, he has never actually had his car ready to run. That is the way our shows always play out. Just when it feels like we are doomed to complete onstage humiliation, it always comes together, and it is always amazing. But not until the last possible second (There was one year where HDT had two flip-outs, one of which was ON OPENING NIGHT.)

Well, I believe that is all of the main terminology that you will need to know to understand my "Oliver!" posts. I will be posting more about interesting rehearsals in this upcoming week. There were supposed to be two other rehearsals this passed week, but one was cancelled due to a snowday (yay!) and the other was a rehearsal that I went to, but found out I didn't need to be there.

*Sigh* I love musical season. Even though the rehearsals are exhausting, and I always struggle to find time to both prepare for the show and do my homework, I still love it. It is the one time of the year when I look forward to coming to school (and don't always hope for snowdays) because I love going to rehearsals. Theatre and chorus are pretty much the reason I still like school I do not know how I would survive without them...

1 comment:

Magdalene6127 said...

Moi, you sound as if you are ready for a fabulous winter-spring semester. Enjoy it honey!