Well, it's finally here. Dress rehearsal tonight. I'm excited and nervous about it at the same time. It's been so long since I was involved with a theater production, but in some ways it feels like I was never away.
Dress rehearsal is always such an important night. There will be an audience - selected important people are invited - and this makes all the difference. For weeks and weeks we have been rehearsing the show. The same lines, over and over again. It's a comedy, and those of us watching have laughed, but it's not the same as when there's an audience. The 50th time you hear a funny line, well, it's just not that funny anymore. I've heard it all, and read along in my script so often, sometimes I think I could go on and replace any of the actors should an emergency occur. Who needs understudies? I'll just do it.
Suddenly, though, when there are fresh ears, it's as if it's all new again. The actors will find out where the big laughs are, and learn to adjust their timing to allow for that. We'll also find out some important stuff tonight, like whether the quick costume changes will work. How to work lines around the sound effects. Whether it's possible to melt from the extreme heat when we're all crowded in the small space backstage.
Somehow, I hope to keep everything organized backstage. Get the girls changed into new outfits during the scene changes. Make sure the props are at hand, and in hand, when they are supposed to be. Make sure the tech guys know when it's safe to bring up the lights. Ensure there is an apply supply of water and lozenges ready for scratchy throats. Be a silent cheerleader for actors coming off of or waiting to go out on stage. Keep track of where we are in the script in case anything goes wrong. See? Nervous and excited.
Dress Rehearsal. I can't wait.
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