Sunday Afternoon in the Park With Mac

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The end of a perfect day, and an almost perfect weekend.  There were around 400 or so for this afternoon’s performance.  This one is going to be pretty tricky for the first hour or so where the A-V is concerned, and lights will not be in evidence till around 6pm.  Learning from this one, let’s keep the start time at 7pm especially when the angle of the stage means that the setting sun throws into a section of the audience.
 
Backstage the usual hive of pre-show activity, and out back there are
warmups by the actors.  Warmups are a ritual for the actor and pretty weird to watch if you’re new to the idea.  Getting the voice tuned, the body stretched, and the head in the zone for performance is mandatory practice.  Think you can do a show without one?  Think again.  
 
For this show, there are lots of other
pre-show duties.  For the ASMs, it’s sweep-mop-sweep, the getting the stage clean routine.  There is also the flash-up of all lanterns to check the lighting rig is operational; the placement of props and it’s all timed in a count-down to ensure everything is ready on time.   the actors need their battery packs checked, the microphones attached to their faces, their individual sound checks with the sound technician out front.  Costume and wigs are maintained by the dresser-ASMs, and actors are assisted to dress, change and get to the stage with a minimum of fuss before and during the performance, when quick changes are often required.  Missing a cue because of a late or slow costume call is a waking nightmare for an actor and her dresser, and there are often rehearsals where quick changes alone are rehearsed for speed and accuracy.  I’ve often thought audiences would enjoy a backstage seat to watch the show going on there.
 
From tomorrow there is a three-day break.  These are the so-called rainy day contingency times.  Mercifully there has been no sign of rain since a couple of spits on Thursday evening late.  More importantly, it’s time for some R and R for the company.  It’s been non-stop for them all since last weekend and they need now to take breath, stock, and focus on the start of another project--final rehearsals for
Sonnets at Breakfast which plays next Sunday.