Friday, February 27, 2009

Readthrough and first blocking rehearsal

Wow - I couldn't ask for a better cast and I couldn't imagine a better first readthrough and first blocking rehearsal! It was amazing! I've never seen a cast so far along in character development at the first readthrough. I think it had to do with the fact that we had to schedule those extra auditions and most of the cast had their books for about a week and a half before we did the first readthrough. It makes a huge difference when they have had time to read it through a few times. I got a ton of compliments about the cast, especially the ladies. I think this is going to be an amazing show!

We had our first stage rehearsal last night. I only asked my two lead actresses to come so that we could get their scenes blocked first. They have three scenes in Act 1 and then a large portion of one scene in Act 2, so we blocked the first two scenes of Act 1 last night and will be blocking the final Act 1 scene and the section of Act 2 tonight. I feel great about the pace and about what we are conveying so far. I just got the entrances and exits from the set designer about a day before the rehearsals were to start and I still haven't seen any sketches, so some of those things may change, but the blocking we did will all be easy to adjust. We even got down to small gestures and facial expressions, which I thought was pretty cool for the first night.

At the end of the rehearsal, I had them run through the two scenes again and they looked great! We have a thrust stage and the audience is on three sides of it, so the blocking is really important, especially for the extreme corner seats. While we blocked scenes and ran through them, I sat in different places to make sure everyone could see. When they ran through both scenes at the end, I sat on one side and the SM sat on the other to see how everything looked from both sides. We'll need to make a few adjustments to the sightlines, but all in all, it looked really good.

I'll be with the same group tonight to finish out their scenes, then I'll be working with different groups next week. I've given them weekends off for the time being because I think it's important for them to have a little time to study their lines! And, you know, to have a life!

I'm so impressed already and so excited about this. My first directing experience is wonderful so far!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First readthrough tonight!

Well, the play is cast and we are reading through for the first time tonight! I'm almost finished with my basic blocking, which we will fine-tune during our blocking rehearsals, which will start tomorrow! I'm spending my lunch break at work finishing up the rehearsal schedule for March so that I can give it out tonight. I'm also creating a google calendar for rehearsals so that cast members can refer to it if they lose their paper copy. This is because I had a ton of calls when I stage managed the last show because cast members lost their calendars and didn't know if we had rehearsal that day. I know, I know... they are adults and should keep up with this stuff themselves. But it is community theatre and they are volunteers, so you do what you have to do in order to get them to rehearsals. Hopefully the google calendar will save the stage manager some calls, though.

I'll take some photos at the readthrough, just for fun. I'll probably post one or two here, just to show off my cast!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bellingrath Gardens photos

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

writing progress

Yes, I'm actually making some progress with Draha, even in the midst of play, work, and other stuff. The outline is still coming along nicely. I've got about half the first book completely outlined (it's actually detailed summaries of each chapter instead of a traditional outline) and the rest of the book is shaping up in my mind as well.

I need to take out some knitting and plot a little more. I find I plot so much better while I knit. Or while I drive. I should use that morning commute to plot more often!

more auditions

This Thursday we are holding our last round of auditions. This time it's only for guys. I've cast the entire show except for two of the guys, so in a couple of days I'm hoping I get the people I need Thursday.

I felt horrible that the auditions didn't produce what I needed, but was told it always happens this way. There is a shocking shortage of guys at community theatre auditions. I never knew!

So yeah, by the end of this week, the show should be cast and we should be ready for the first readthrough. Several of my people already have their scripts and are working on their lines beforehand, which I think is great.

My only remaining problem is that my set designer hasn't given me any drawings yet, so I have no idea where my entrances and exits are, or where the furniture will be on the stage! I'll have to look into that tomorrow and see what's happening.

Monday, February 09, 2009

directing adventures: auditions

We are almost finished with auditions for my show. Tomorrow night is the last night, although if we don't get some more guys in, we may have to do another round of auditions! I got some great ladies tonight, several of whom would be great as Mrs. Graves, the oldest character in the cast. I still haven't made any decisions, but that's going to be the toughest role to cast, I think. There are just too many good candidates! Good problem to have, though, right?

Tomorrow night will be the moment of truth. If we get the guys we need, I'll be able to cast the entire show!

Auditions have been very interesting. I now really understand what directors are going through when I audition for them. I think this will make me a better auditioner in the future, which is always good!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


You know how you say something (or write something) to someone and then immediately regret it?  Not something mean or hurtful, but something that you maybe shouldn't put out there?  Have you ever done it and then spent days waiting for a response, wondering what the other person is thinking?  

Um... me neither?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Switching gears

Well, we had our last performance this afternoon. It was amazing and the cast really put their all into it, but now it's over. We all participated in strike, which really was a total strike of the stage since my auditions are coming up so quickly. We tore down the amazing trees that our TD built for us and that we all painted together before we opened. It was kind of a tough moment.

We all went to a restaurant for dinner afterward - and when it was time to say goodbye, it was hard, as always. It was difficult to say goodbye to my Quilters girls, but we have stayed in touch, mostly through facebook and email - and I have become very close with several members of this cast who I really hope will also stay in touch, probably through email and facebook as well. I know a few of them will be at future auditions, so I'm sure I'll see them then.

There is one person in particular that I really want to see again. Here's hoping.

One good thing about this is that I don't have a lot of time to contemplate anything. It's right into the next show for me, since my first auditions are this coming Friday and the production meeting is the next day. I need to prepare a lot of paperwork for the production meeting - prop lists, costume concepts, set concepts for the set designer, light plot, sound and music concepts, and character descriptions. I also have to choose my audition pieces for each character and get some copies made so people can read over the pieces before coming in to read. I hope I have a lot of choices. I want to cast it perfectly! Everything has to go "just right" for this show since it's my first directing job. I want to show the board that their faith in me was justified.

So yeah, it's time to switch gears from southern to British comedy, from modern times to 1922, from Alabama to England and then Italy. I can't wait to see what happens.


As part of my "passion" search for the year 2009, I'm analyzing my life and how I approach things. During this analysis, I realized something very interesting. I'm a crusader. I tend to seek out situations and people that I can help because that's something that makes me feel good. I like helping people and I like improving situations.

But I wonder sometimes - do I crusade to the point that it affects my own well-being? My own happiness? It's something I'm struggling with right now.

On the one hand, it really does make me happy to help others. On the other hand, I wonder sometimes if my endless crusades are just a way to keep me from putting myself "out there" socially because I'm afraid of what might happen.

It's something I've been thinking about especially since reading the Enchanted April script, watching the movie, and listening to the audio book that the play is based on. One character seems to be interested in helping the poor and being righteous so much that it affects her relationship with her husband.

I wonder sometimes if I use my crusades to keep me from being disappointed or rejected.

In light of that, tonight I "put myself out there." The result wasn't exactly what I had hoped for, but it wasn't entirely negative either. We'll see what happens.

I'm not saying I'm giving up on my crusades, because they are so much a part of who I am. What I'm saying is that I am committed to take some time for myself. This time will help me figure out what needs to be done and how to do it in order to really see my life's true potential. And isn't that what passion is all about? Finding your life's true potential? I think it is.