Friday, June 19, 2009

A Day in Misalliance

A Day in Misalliance Rehearsal

by Heather Newman (Stage Manager for Misalliance)

We rehearse Misalliance 6 days a week 8 hours a day. My normal morning starts at 11:00am when I meet my ASM (assistant stage manager),Crystal McCall, at the theatre and we start prepping for the day's activities. Prep usually consists of setting up the room with the furniture, props, and rehearsal costumes needed for that day. Next, while Crystal checks in with the costume and prop departments for any updates and new items that may be available, I check my work email for any questions from designers and department heads, go through the day's rehearsal and fitting schedules, and put together any notes I need to go over with the cast (2009 MFA acting company & Greta Lambert) and director (Wendy McClellan) before rehearsal starts.

At 12:00pm, we begin rehearsal, right now that involves a full day of blocking (choreographing and recording the movements of the actors in each scene). Wendy guides the actors through this process as I take down blocking notes in my prompt script (the main archive for the show) and Crystal stays on book for the actor's lines while keeping track of props used. As we go from scene to scene I track their entrances and exits, record their blocking, watch for potential technical related issues, make sure we are taking the appropriate breaks, monitor the actor's fitting schedule, and make note of any questions we have for the designers and departments involved in the production. By 4:00pm we are all ready to take a meal break. Crystal and I finish up notes and lock up valuables before we rush home to walk our respective puppies and grab a quick bite.

At 5:00pm I am back in the building checking in with the costume shop to see how fittings went and checking for emails from other departments- all while Crystal sets up the room again for the evening’s schedule. The MFA actors and Wendy are back at 5:30pm and we head back into the blocking process. 9:30pm is the end of blocking for the day and the actors are given their notes and sent home. Wendy and I go over the next day's schedule (called the DAILY) while Crystal cleans up the props and rehearsal costumes. Once the DAILY is finished I email it out to the production heads and record the schedule onto a voice-mail system the actors can call into- a hard copy of the DAILY is also distributed around the building in about 15 locations by Crystal. I then move onto my rehearsal report which contains everything we worked on that day, any questions we need answered, important reminders for future events, and requests for items we may need for rehearsal; once it's done, this document gets emailed out to everyone involved in the production. Last one to leave, I check the room for left over valuables, turn out the lights,and head home.