Better Late Than Never
*Note: It's going to be a long one.
So, it's been a while, but a week and a half ago we had our last public performance before the Fringe Festival in August. On Friday, March 22, we had our public reading of The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord by Scott Carter at the Theater am Gleis in Winterthur. By all accounts it was a success.
Now, by success I do not mean smooth. Because it was not smooth. Sure, the performance was seamless and great and the audience didn't notice a thing and blah blah blah. BUT before. Oh man, before.
You see, we only had the theatre for two days (it was all we could afford). And at least 50% of us have day jobs, so it's not even like we could be in the theatre all day, making the most of our time.
On Thursday, the day before the performance, Ciaran, Luke, Claudia and Andrew (thanks for the van, Andrew!) collected and drove the majority of the set and props over to the theatre, where things could be put in place before Tomi, Tim (thanks for running sound and lights, Tim!) and I arrived in the evening, to do a tech run and hopefully a full rehearsal.
First, in their eagerness to put together flat-pack, Luke and Ciaran got a little screw happy (I heard it and I'm just going with it) and accidentally drilled the screws too tight - i.e. right through the table top on the other side (!!). Luckily, with some white tape, you couldn't tell from the audience. I'm sure there were a few moments of panic first, though. I'm glad I wasn't there.
Then, although I had sent Ciaran to the theatre with the laptop (which had all our sound cues), I had failed to send the power cord, and it didn't even cross my mind to grab it when I popped home to drop off my school stuff and pick up my theatre gear. So, by the time we realized the power cord was missing, we had barely any battery left (of course). Yes, I could have gone home to get it but it's 30 minutes from Winterthur to Zurich, 6 minutes from the station to my house, 6 minutes from my house back to the station and 30 minutes back to Winterthur. For those keeping score at home, that's an hour and twelve minutes of travel, if all the trains come back to back. It wasn't going to happen at 8pm.
Thankfully, we had enough juice to make sure all the sound cues worked and were in the right order before the computer died. Fully died. Which meant that Tim, who had never really heard the cues and script together, was flying blind to a certain degree (and he did brilliantly in the end). So, our "tech" rehearsal ended up being a regular rehearsal - but at least we were on the stage, and we finally had a door (longer story).
But wait, there's more!!!
On Friday, show night, my tram from work was delayed, which meant I was in a super rush at the station, and in my haste, got on the wrong train! I clued in after about two stops, and got off, but I was miles away from where I needed to be, with no idea how to get back.
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Courtney, you're the producer. Did you really need to be there?" and the answer is ... no. However, in my bags were all the programs, all the door tickets, all the signage for the lobby, the menus, all the cash for the bar, and all the actors' make up. So no, I didn't need to be there, but my stuff sure did.
I had a minor (major) freak out at Uster station and had to be talked down a little (a lot) by Ciaran. But praise all the theatre gods because I'm working with an exceptional team who all pulled together and did what they could with what they had (or could find) until I got there (15 minutes before curtain). Consummate professionals, all of them. As they say, theatre is magical but it doesn't happen by magic, so thank you again to Andrew, Tim, Roni and Joelle for helping us on Friday night (and also to Claudia, Ciaran, Tomi and Luke for keeping it cool whilst I was not). In the end we only started 5 minutes late, and the audience didn't notice a thing!
So, like I said, it went very well and was a great success! And with that, we head towards July, when we will begin our intensive rehearsals, before going on tour!!
(And in the meantime, here are the pics of our final rehearsal and "tech" night. Below are a few of my favourites.)