Friday, April 27, 2012

Good Morning, Baltimore!

April 27, 2012

by David Dreyfoos
Director of Production

Props (& a cow!) await transport
to the Playhouse
On February 28th the actors, stage managers, and designers travelled to Baltimore and settled into their housing. Rehearsals began that same day at CENTERSTAGE. The crew in Baltimore had been working hard to get everything ready on stage, but as you may not know, sometimes all of the elements are not quite in place until a little later in the process.

An empty Playhouse stage -
you'll notice an extra truss to accomodate
the necessary stage lighting
With a sitzprobe (sit and sing) scheduled for the first day, the cast finally had the treat of hearing the orchestra for the very first time.  Wayne Barker, our amazing Music Director, had rehearsed the orchestra prior to the cast’s arrival. The remainder of the time prior to Previews was filled with spacing and technical rehearsals.  I joined everyone in Baltimore for these rehearsals…some of the most crucial because it is when all of the scenery moves, costume/wig quick changes take place, lighting, sound and all cues for the production get decided and solidified. Many times what is worked out in the rehearsal studio doesn’t necessarily translate to the stage.  Blocking (actor movement on stage) changes, entrances and exits change, placement of sound cues, and so on. 

And here it comes!  Into the Woods
pulls into Powers Court
Another example of something that changed is that we had planned to see a scenic beanstalk grow just before the end of the Act 1 musical number. The design team was on the fence about its effectiveness as we saw it during the tech rehearsals. It was decided that we would look at it for the first preview and then make a determination about whether it would stay. That night at our production meeting following the preview… we all said bye, bye, to the beanstalk.  During the preview process and up until opening, we continued to rehearse and make changes. Many of those changes were informed by the audience’s reaction from the previous night and also informed by our production meetings following each preview. 

Crew members unload scenery
Finally, on March 14th the production opened!  It played in Baltimore until April 14th and following that performance, the actors and stage managers went back home for a week off and the crew at CENTERSTAGE began the task of packing up all elements of the prodution to ship it to Westport. Everything arrived safely and now it is our turn to bring you Into the Woods!

Click here to view a brief promotional video for Into the Woods.  Performances begin in Westport on May 1st.

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