Well, we’ve arrived at the last week of rehearsals. We’re going to put The Gargoyle Garden in front of a live audience this Saturday night. If you’d like to purchase tickets for that show, or for one of the other 4 performances, follow these links:
This week is busy–although not as busy as some shows’ rehearsal week! One of the most difficult aspects of performing The Gargoyle Garden is that our show’s rehearsal process is not creator-driven. What I mean by this is that many plays–especially those at the NY Fringe Festival–are written and performed by a single person or small team. This means that the creators of the work can decide for themselves how much time, energy, and treasure to devote to the rehearsal process. They can forgo work, relationships, and a host of other of life’s details so that they can rehearse for 6-8 hours each of the 5 days in the week leading up to the first fringe performance.
Some other Fringe Festival shows are produced by theater companies that have already successfully produced the show on their home stage. When they arrive at Fringe, they have cast, crew, and production teams in place and ready to go.
The third kind of Fringe participant is like the cast and crew of The Gargoyle Garden. The creators, Jeff LaGreca and myself, have had to hire all of our actors, musicians, technical crew, and production/creation team. This means that we pay them very little and ask them to do very much. It also means that we must accommodate their schedules. Rehearsals cannot be onerously long or too often. While many shows will rehearse for 6 hours every day this week, we’ll have 4 rehearsals–with one of those being a 2 hour technical rehearsal (which we completed yesterday morning).
Mind you, I’m not saying this is unfair or that the other shows have it “easier” than we do. They don’t. They’re pouring their hearts and souls into their productions. All I’m saying is that I still have some heart and soul left to pour–only I have nowhere to pour it. So, that’s frustrating.
We did two complete run-throughs of the show last night. They went fairly well, in my estimation. Laura Barger (our amazing pianist) and Chris Graham (our generous and gifted percussionist) gamely kept up with the players. Because we have two 11 year-olds in the production, it is not uncommon for measures to be added or omitted by them during a run-through. Keeping up with those additions/omissions on-the-fly is no easy task. Luckily, Chris and Laura are first-rate performers. They’re flexible and generous in the collaborative process, too. I wish that I could work with Chris and Laura on every composition I write. Jeff and I are really lucky to have them.
We have one last full rehearsal on Thursday night, when we hope to run the show 2 or 3 times. On Saturday, Jeff will lead the cast on a “line-through”. That is, they’ll talk the piece through from top to bottom, without musicians.
Then, we go up on stage on Saturday night at 7:45. I hope to see you there.