So I dropped by the main stage for the GuineaPigging stumble-through last night . The gang was just finishing up their dinner break when I arrived – and some, like actor Laura Vincent, had been there since morning. Was good to see these folks, including stage manager Stacy Halloran (who came onboard after the read-through, when their original SM had another commitment) and actor Chris Reid (who couldn’t make it to the first read). Set/lighting designer Ed Rosing was also in attendance and we went over the painting schedule before the run started (yes, I’ve signed on for painting this one too). The lighting hang had already started and actor Mike Vitorovich is doubling as builder.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, stumble-throughs are not meant to be pretty. They’re a rough sketch of the full, polished piece to come. And, of course, some plays are more complex than others – making for a more challenging stumble-through. And I’m here to tell ya, these guys came through with flying colours. This is a farce-paced dark comedy, with very specific blocking that involves medical procedures and fight choreography – and without final props, set pieces or choreography, some things had to be mimed or marked – and these guys did it all. They got laughs – and they were short an actor too! Actor Tim Walker (who plays one of the funniest characters in the show) was absent from the run, so the rest of the cast worked around his blocking, pretending he was there, while assistant director Laurie Williams read his lines from the front row.
It was a long day for these folks – the mood upbeat throughout the run – and they were still there when Ed and I headed out for the King streetcar, with director Molly Thom starting her notes. They’ll be running the show at every rehearsal pretty much from here on, tightening and polishing as they go.
This is going to be some big, crazy fun, chickens. Stay tuned for the press release, which I’ll be posting on the GuineaPigging page on this site soon.
In the meantime, I’ll be posting the write-up for the New Ideas week two reading, which I’ll be getting from back-up/guest blogger Tina McCulloch soon.