Così cue to cue yesterday, 10 am – 5pm. For anyone not familiar with theatre parlance, “cue to cue” is a literal description of the process. It’s a rehearsal run by and for the tech crew, in consultation with director and designers, so that they can time the lighting and sound cues and adjust levels if necessary. For the actors, it means that they only get to run the parts of scenes leading into and out of lighting or sound cues. Cue to cue is preceded (for Così , the day prior – Saturday) by a day of setting levels and rough timings (without the actors), described by Stage Manager Margot Devlin as “a humdinger”.
For yesterday’s cue to cue, Assistant Director Seema Lakhani sat in the front row of the auditorium – “on book” in case any actors called for a line – which we did (but not too often). Director Jane Carnwath sat at a production table set up in the centre of the house, along with Set & Lighting Designer Ed Rosing and Sound Designer Rick Jones. Stage Manager Margot, also operating the lights, was up in the booth with Sound Operator Emily Macnaughton. Backstage, Assistant Stage Manager Pona Tran was on headset with Margot, receiving directions on what to do in scene changes, etc. Actors were instructed to wear our costumes so that Costume Designer Margaret Spence could see them under show lighting conditions. Us girls wearing short skirts also checked that we weren’t flashing the audience whenever we sat down on stage!
At one point backstage, while waiting for instructions from Margot, I asked Laura Vincent, who plays heroin addict Julie, to clarify her gestures in one of the opera scenes, so I could mirror them. Mike Vitorovich, who plays manic depressive ringleader Roy, was curious to know if I was asking as my character Ruth (an obsessive compulsive) or as myself. And you know, I had to think about the answer!
Lunch was provided by the producers (Natalya Demberg, Ellen Green and Barbara Larose) – delish Greek salad and yummy little sandwiches, plus grapes and cookies for dessert. Scenic painter Cathy McKim donated a box of Timbits –mmm. It was decided that a peace sign would be added to the graffiti on the theatre walls – to “really set the period”, as Jane noted.
After a slow start – it took a lot of tries to set the timing and levels for the opening sequence of sound & light cues – kind of like “takes” in film – it was finally nailed down, and things proceeded fairly smoothly from there. Well, except for the buzzy headsets, which must have been a literal pain to work around. Margot was popping Tylenol to stave off a major headache, I found out afterwards.
Most of the cast repaired to Alumnae Theatre’s “local” – a friendly nearby pub called Betty’s (http://www.bettysonking.com/) – for some adult beverages & snacks following the cue to cue. We were joined in progress by two of the producers and the sound designer! A fun evening was had by all.
Next: movement coach Jen Johnson returns on Tuesday to polish choreography in the opera performance scene.