07 February 2010

The Rehearsal Process

I haven't taken advantage of my blog yet for advertising a play that I am currently rehearsing for, so I will do that now.

I want to do that by taking a moment to comment on the rehearsal process, not specifically for The Vagina Monologues (my current play), but just in general. I think the rehearsal process for me can be summed up in seven stages:

On Book / Where do I go?
  • This stage is more formally known as blocking and is one of the first things most directors will do with their cast. It's when you can barely even remember your character's name and your relationship to the other characters (or which actors are playing which characters) and are frantically scribbling blocking notes in the margins to attempt to decipher later when you finally sit down to do some character research.
On Book / This is what my character would say..
  • At this point you've done a little research, a smidgen of character soul searching, and can finally remember who plays the other characters. You are finally finding your character's voice and are experimenting with different line delivery as means of expressing the few deep inner workings of the character that you've managed to consider so far.
On Book / I can't figure out how my character would move with this dang script in my hand...
  • This is the stage where you are super frustrated with yourself because you have finally done a good deal of character work and are ready to really let your character drive your moments on stage, but the script in your hand is posing a major imposition. Yet somehow you just can't seem to find the time to learn your lines until the director finally says, "Okay guys - we're off book next week!"
Off Book / What's my line?
  • This is the stage in which you're really annoyed that you (and the rest of the cast) did not manage to get off book sooner because noone can remember their lines and this is the most miserable rehearsal of your life. You can't even attempt to channel your inner character because you are way too busy imagining the pages of your script in your mind's eye.
Off Book / Oh yeah I need to move there...
  • You can finally breathe a little easier and remember your lines so suddenly you don't look like a robot moving through your blocking. You praise Jesus for this because robot did not look good on you.
Off Book / Embodying my character
  • You have been waiting way too long for this day to come - its the moment when your lines and blocking are officially second nature and that character you worked so hard to develop weeks ago is finally taking the steering wheel. You'd think this was euphoria if it weren't for the next stage.
Off Book / Bring on opening night!
  • It's tech week, you are wearing your costume, the lights are up, you still remember your lines and your blocking, you are not on stage but your character is. All your ducks are lining up. You'd think this were euphoria, if it weren't for what comes after this stage...
OPENING NIGHT. This was what all the build up was for. This is it. And it is worth it.

Okay, so that was a fairly comedic (but probably pretty honest) look at the rehearsal process. I love the theatre and I love how it feels to be on stage. What I also love are good causes. And The Vagina Monologues, which goes up this coming Thursday evening, has portions of the funds raised going directly to Project Woman, an organization striving to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

All that being said - I invite you out to the show!


  1. i'm so happy you're doing that !! we are having it on our campus sometime this semester and i'm hoping to be a part of it. it's really inspiring. :]

  2. I hope you are a part of it, Jill! It's a great mind opening piece that can really shake people up in a really good way!

    It was very well received here in Springfield! :)