AYL: the first full run-through

Saturday was our first full run-through of As You Like It. We had done scenes before. We had done acts before, but before Saturday we had never done the show start-to-finish and uninterrupted (producer Laura sat next to me to make sure I kept my nose out of the actors’ business).

And the verdict?

Not bad. In fact, pretty damned good, given we’re two weeks away from opening. The first act ran about 1:20, and the second about an hour. There’s much tightening to do–letting the air out of some speeches, sequences, and scenes–but still if we can get down to a total running time of 2:15, including intermission, I’ll be more than pleased.

Still seeing some great experimentation taking place. And there are sequences that are magical. And in the margin of one particular scene/speech, I had written in my notes: (in the left margin) “tears” and (in the right) “FRAK! perfect” (it wasn’t really “frak” but you get the idea)…

Is the whole show that good? Of course not. Not yet at least. The dances still need the smoothness and energy and ease that repeated runs will give them. And the live band’s songs are still rough.

The plan for this week is Act One tonight, Act Two tomorrow, another full run-through Wednesday. And for Thursday? Last week, I had three ideas: run the “problem areas” or do an in-the-dark line-through (which can be wonderfully powerful, as we listen to the words, the play, without the distraction of blocking or sets or lights or costumes…the hearing of that language can show you things about your character and scenes that you’ve never heard before) or a night off.

I’m reconsidering that. I’m already giving the actors the weekend off…not sure if I want a five-day break between Wednesday and TECH WEEK. I’m leaning toward either the line-through or using the “problem” areas concept to hit those pieces that could use some repeated runs–the dances and songs.

Regardless, the actors will now be acting on an almost completed stage… Laura, our Audrey Stephanie, and I painted the stage yesterday…

Yeah, babies…. we’re getting close!

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