Monday is light hang day. That means I have to see the entire play before I draw the plot (hopefully tomorrow). The director hasn’t scheduled a run through until next week, so I’m spending this week (well Monday through Wednesday) in the rehearsal room. Designers don’t usually see much rehearsal process. I’m enjoying myself a lot. This also happens to be the week they get to move in to the actual theatre (I love that about college theatre, you get the space much earlier than in the pro world).
Watching the actors adjust to having some (but not all) the set pieces, and being in the real space is energizing. They are so excited! It is always my goal to do the best work I can for the the cast (after the performance I attended last Friday, I am utterly disgusted with audiences!), but being in a regular rehearsal with the cast makes this imperative even stronger.
Almost Maine is in many 11 small play-letts rather than a full play. The scenic design has, I think, done a lot to unify them visually. The upshot of this is that I am considering doing 11 light plots. 11 little tiny light plots. And then trying to cram them all in one theatre. In the end the realities of the number of dimmers, and the number of lighting instruments at my disposal will probably negate that idea — I’m already thinking that all the “exterior” scenes will have to share a light plot, leaving maybe the interiors each with a unique look. But each scene is special. I have radically different ideas for each one, and with the set, and the play as a whole, that might be ok.
I see the last three tonight, and then I have to figure out the lighting.
The disadvantage to seeing the show not all at once is that I can only have half formed ideas at the moment. When I see the show all together, my brain very neatly breaks everything down. At the moment, my mind is saying: what if this, what if that, will that work here, or there, or …. And its distracting.
That said, I’ve so enjoyed the experience of being in that sacred space: the rehearsal. The cast, and management and direction teams have all been very welcoming of a stranger in their midst when the show isn’t ready yet. Some scenes didn’t have the blocking fully completed. The actors are still exploring moments. And for many shows, I could put the light plot off one more week, wait until the run through and not have a problem. The downside on this show is that some of the lighting requirements will take some time to arrive, and I won’t know what I need until I see the show, and every day of delay risks the equipment not arriving by tech.
So this week is dedicated to lighting…. I’m still getting the last 2 major set pieces constructed. Then painting and decorating…. The prop list is getting under control.
This should be a beautiful show.