REELING - A play by Sean Gregory

REELING - A play by Sean Gregory
art by Angela Guyton (Click on image for artists website)

Friday, 23 July 2010

A Stage Manager's Perspective

Latest news: 96 tickets already sold and 2 days until the press preview!

I can't believe how fast the rehearsal process has gone; we began exactly one week ago today, and now we're preparing for our get-in and technical rehearsal at the theatre! It has been fascinating watching how Richard, Joanne and Louise have worked together to create the world of the Knowles sisters on the day of their mother's funeral. It's quite an emotional state to get into and even I start to feel quite tired after sitting watching a day's rehearsal; I can only imagine how the actresses feel!

As a first-time stage manager and never having met anyone from the production company before the first rehearsal, I was excited and apprehensive about the whole experience. Thankfully, the set stays the same throughout the whole 55 minutes so I just need to worry about the stage preset and hanging about in the wings incase of emergency! I feel like a safety net in rehearsals, there for support (or line prompts!) and occasional opinion on the action. I have certainly enjoyed the role so far!

One of the biggest practical challenges of the play is the number of cassette tapes. Yesterday I sat with Louise going through the whole script, counting how many cassettes were needed and which dates, then labeling them all up. Thankfully only 20 are actually taken out of the trunk although the crew (mainly Sean and Jo!) managed to gather about 250 which look amazing all lined up inside. A lot of time has been spent blanking the cassette tapes, since Joel will be operating the sound from the tech box, so that when the girls press play, we won't be hearing 'Christmas Hits 1992!'

Today we'll be moving the set into the venue. Joel, Sean and Alice spent the first part of the week building a wallpapered corner of the room, and the rest of the set consists of the trunk, a sofa, a standard lamp, a chair and a rather beautiful writing desk or bureau. The next focus of my job will be co-ordinating the set-up and take-down the set in the 15-minute window given by 24:7, and ensuring all the tapes are wound and placed in the correct place.

I'm excited about the next few days: please do come and watch!

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