Last night I attended the tech rehearsal of The Drowning Girls, set to open on Friday Nov 16.
Had no idea at the time that only a couple of hours earlier, the cast, director, assistant director and producer had been dealing with the repercussions of a family emergency of one of the actors.
The rehearsal proceeded as normal (I thought) – full tech, costumes, etc. Oh, and water. Lots of water. The play’s called The Drowning Girls, and with good reason. I won’t leak the spectacle that will greet the audience as they get to the top of the Studio stairs, but let’s just say it’s startling. I also noticed the pre-show music (classical-ish with a subtle creepy edge), and Sound Designer Rick Jones was there, so afterwards I asked him about it. He tells me that it’s “Concertino for String Orchestra”, by British composer Bruce Montgomery. Strangely, Montgomery’s other composition credits include music for all the “Doctor in the House” movies as well as the first four “Carry On” movies. These are British comedies – on the farcical side!
Also in the show was a funny/tragic sequence in which the brides, clutching invisible partners, waltz around their tubs to the strains of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”.
The actors (Jennifer Neales, Tennille Read and Emily Opal Smith) were very affecting, each taking turns playing not only the murdered brides, but various people in their lives – parents, siblings, gossipy landladies (whose rendition of the hymn “Nearer My God To Thee” was hysterical), and the man who was their husband and killer.
Assistant Director Antara Keelor mentioned to me that there was an incident last week which they can only attribute to one of the resident ghosts of Alumnae Theatre. Director Taryn Jorgenson had made three lacy garters for the brides, but these mysteriously disappeared after a photo shoot, and have not been seen since. Antara speculates that “the ghost likes women’s lacy undergarments”! So Stage Manager Laura Paduch made new garters, which the actors wore last night.
So onto the bad news: due to the family emergency mentioned at the top of this post, opening night of The Drowning Girls unfortunately has to be postponed by one day. There will be no performance on Friday November 16; instead the show will open on Saturday November 17.
In the meantime, check out the gorgeous production photos shot by Dahlia Katz at http://www.alumnaetheatre.com/1213drown.html, and make a reservation to see the show Nov 17 – Dec 1.
The girls are waiting for you. firstname.lastname@example.org