For as long as I can remember tech weekends have been a miserable experience no matter what the role I played in the production.
However, during our tech weekend for A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I am positively glowing with the smoothness and the amount of work that got done. Everyone worked together and waited patiently for the lighting and sound elements to integrated seamlessly into our play.
Theatre as a whole is all about teamwork, and I can say without a doubt in my mind that this team of technicians, designers, and actors alike is one of the greatest teams that I have every had the pleasure of working with.
Our tech weekend started with a dry run on Friday where our technical director and I sat down together to write light cues and have them written in the call book. On Saturday we called the actors to walk under the lights so that we can place the cues where they needed to be called. This was a 10 out of 12 day, meaning that it was a 12-hour shift with a 2-hour dinner.
Also on this day we did a costume parade where the actors tried on their costumes and stood on stage in the lights to see how they looked. Finally, on Sunday we did a run of the show to get the time down and see where the cues were on completion.
As we begin the week on Monday, we call the actors slightly early so that they could practice applying their makeup and dressing in their costumes. Also on this day we institute the various costume changes throughout the performance. On Tuesday and Wednesday, we continue to perfect the technical aspects.
On Thursday we open.
On Thursday we open!
This is not a drill.
And suddenly I am not filled with panic, but the joy of being able to share our show with the world.