Goodbye rehearsal room … hello theatre

Yesterday we said goodbye to Rehearsal Room 1 at Queensland Theatre Company. It’s been our cosy playroom since just after Christmas when we came together to begin work on QUARTET. It’s into the Playhouse at QPAC tomorrow and the start of tech week.

Image: Stephen Henry Photography via QTC
Image: Stephen Henry Photography via QTC

This means getting used to a new space; those green (Act 1) and yellow (Act 2) tape markups on the floor will become real levels and walls, doors and other objects to accommodate – although we’ve worked with real furniture and stand-in props. We’ll swap rehearsal gear for costumes and makeup and all the other ‘body-masking’ add-ons that assist in transforming actor to character. Continue reading “Goodbye rehearsal room … hello theatre”

Week 4 – the gears are clicking

Waking early today into the light in the sky. It’s high summer and my diurnal rhythms seem to be in sync with the bigger picture. Eyes open, into awareness, and the low-level adrenaline that’s come to be part of my life, kicks into play. I’m grateful for a day off for the light domestic duties, a spot of gardening, and a catch-up with the small screen entertainment. This helps to calm the mind and restore some balance after a week that has been one of the most intense so far in the rehearsal period. Continue reading “Week 4 – the gears are clicking”

Week 3: the play’s the thing!

Rehearsal room at QTC, BrisbaneThis post is a reflection on my own sense of the ‘job’ as actor this week. The clarity of purpose behind our weekly and daily schedules keeps us all focussed and humming forward together – kudos to our director Andrea Moor and Stage Manager Peter Sutherland.

For those of us inside Rehearsal Room One, the days seem fuelled by performance adrenaline; it’s probably why I’m so tired by 6pm and the close of play. We work from 10 most mornings, although costume fittings or publicity calls (both of which I’ve had this week) can occupy the 9am slot. We’re working quickly and are, as far as text is concerned, off book but still taking prompts, pruning out line substitutions, and fixing drops. We continue refining action too: timing the handling of props; entrances and exits, the scene and costume changes. The little things really do matter. As we do, there’s a growing sense of the ‘arc’ of the play, and of the rhythm of scenes as they flow in and out of one another. Out front Andrea’s focus is total; she provokes, questions, and continues to interrogate the work with us. Assistant Director Catarina Hebbard keeps us honest with text and on track with blocking. Continue reading “Week 3: the play’s the thing!”

Routine

Rehearsal days are flying by – we’re nearing the end of Week 2 – and the work on the floor this week, blocking scenes and interrogating action through character, is intense and tiring. This is where the richness of a text becomes apparent, but it takes its toll. The tiredness only becomes apparent at day’s end when, for me at least, it isn’t possible to do much more than eat a light dinner, do a bit of reading – without a pencil in hand – and consider the luxury of an early night. I don’t have access to a television at the moment so this is probably a good thing, else I’d drift off in front of it, I suspect. Continue reading “Routine”

Week 1 Done … no dust

The last time I turned up to work on a Saturday morning was back in high school when I did a weekly pocket-money stint at Coles in my hometown. This week has been broken a bit by public holidays, and so we finished the first of what constituted the rehearsal week on Saturday; it felt like a Friday all day, of course, and with lots of delicious cakes and even a Christmas stollen on the tea table. Note to self: don’t get too carried away at break time with the tea table. Continue reading “Week 1 Done … no dust”

Unexpected Learning

In the course of their careers, actors get to experience a wonderfully eclectic range of characters and human behaviors.  We investigate the way people think and act, and have the often-daunting task of giving life to a character who seems light years away from our own understanding and experience of life. Continue reading “Unexpected Learning”