Friday, April 10, 2015

Setting the (Rehearsal) Stage for THE LIAR

Set Model by Kristen Robinson.
By Peter Chenot
Director of Marketing

The campus was bustling this Tuesday with over fifty WCP staff members, actors, and designers, all converging on the rehearsal studio for our first “meet and greet” of the season. But while this was the first day for many of us, our stage management team had already been here working hard for a week to prepare the room for the three-week rehearsal period. 

For our production of David Ives’ The Liar we are excited that the entire rehearsal process is happening right here at the Playhouse in our Lucille Lortel White Barn Sheffer Rehearsal Studio. For much of the year this is an all-purpose space used for events, parties, play readings, etc., but for the next month it will become home to the creative rehearsal process of the first play of our 2015 Season.

Megan Smith, Lauren Stern, and Ed Herman.
Since the set is still under construction our stage manager Megan Smith, assistant stage manager Ed Herman, and production assistant Lauren Stern spent all last week making the studio into a reasonable facsimile of what the actors can expect once they get on the stage. By following the intricate blue prints of Kristen Robinson's scenic design they painstakingly taped out the floor to show different levels, walls, and other set pieces. Everything is done to the correct scale so that the actors won't have any trouble adapting to the actual stage and set when they move there for technical rehearsals during the last week of April.

Character models and set pieces for use in the set model.
They used the set model (also to scale) to help get the right perspective and to visualize the final product. The director and stage manager can even use models of the characters to think about blocking (how the actors move on the stage throughout the play) and stage pictures for each scene before the set is even completed.

Taping out the floor down to the inch.
Our production department here at the Playhouse also provides rehearsal props and costumes so that the actors can get used to working with the real items. 

It's all about making the actors and the director happy and comfortable during rehearsals. The audience doesn't often see the important work of stage management but when rehearsals go well and the team is happy and knows what to expect, the results always shine through during performance.

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