It happens so often at tech rehearsal. And yet, each time it happens, it feels like the first. That magic moment when the colored lights are turned on the first time, the sound is turned up, the costumes are put on, the props are placed in hand. Suddenly the weeks of hard work in the empty rehearsal room blossom to life as the design elements add their wonder. This happened, this week, in tech rehearsals for our upcoming West Coast Premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Baby Doll. It opens July 29.
The cast worked through their cues under the watchful eyes of lighting designer Ken Booth, set designer Jeff McLaughlin, sound designer/composer Peter Bayne, costume designer Terri A. Lewis and props designer Terri Roberts, all under the guidance of production stage manager Emily Lehrer and director Simon Levy.
The meticulous process of technical rehearsals — when light & sound cues are painstakingly timed and drilled — can be tedious. But the end result can be marvelous.As was the case this week with Baby Doll. It’s going to be a beautiful production.
Enjoy these snapshots from tech rehearsal. You’ll be dazzled when you see the finished production.
Design and production team at work during tech weekend.
There are no two ways about it. Tech rehearsals are a long, incremental process. Light cues are programmed into computers, sound levels are meticulously adjusted, set and prop elements are continuously added, costumes are inspected under actual lighting. Actors work out the timing of cues, all under the eye of the director. It can be a slow, repetitive and exacting undertaking.
Over 26 years, we have found the key to a successful Tech Weekend: donuts. Lots of them. Actually, our three sacred virtues of TechWeekend are Diligence, Patience and a Sense of Humor. The cast, design and production team for My Mañana Comes demonstrated all three last weekend as we began integrating the design elements into our upcoming LA Premiere.
The play takes place in the kitchen of an upscale New York restaurant. Michael Navarro’s red brick and stainless steel set design creates the environment. The seating at the Fountain has been restored to its original configuration (we were in-the-round for Dream Catcher) and the audience is expected to feel like fine diners with theatre programs designed like restaurant menus.
My Mañana Comes is a funny and fast-paced new play about four busboys in a fancy bistro who juggle plates, their friendship and chase the American Dream. Written by Elizabeth Irwin and directed by Armando Molina, our LA premiere stars Richard Azurdia, Pablo Castelblanco, Peter Pasco and Lawrence Stallings. It runs April 16 – June 26.
A sneak peek as we prepare for Tech Weekend for the world premiere of our upcoming comedy/dramaHeart Songby Stephen Sachsat the Fountain, directed by Shirley Jo Finney. It stars Pamela Dunlap, Juanita Jennings and Tamlyn Tomita. Previews begin May 18. It opens May 25th and runs to July 14th.
Heart Song is a funny and touching new play about a middle-aged Jewish woman in New York City whose life is changed when she takes a flamenco class. Set design is by Tom Buderwitz, lighting design by Ken Booth. Take a look at some snapshots as we build the set and hang lights, getting ready for Tech Weekend.
Lloyd: I’m starting to know what God felt like when he sat out there in the darkness, creating the world.
Belinda: And what did he feel like, Lloyd my dear?
Lloyd: Very pleased he’d taken his Valium.
– from “Noise Off” by Michael Frayn
Tech weekend is always a magical time. And requires a lot of Valium. It’s when the design team and the production crew join the cast and director to add lights, set, sound, costumes and props to the show. Light and sound cues are set, new set elements brought in, props and costumes added. Tech weekends can be long, tedious and time consuming. They can also be fun. And the results are often wondrous as “magic time” begins …
Justin Huen and Sabina Zuniga Varela
Playwright Tanya Saracho and costume designer Garry Lennon
Sound designer Peter Bayne.
Actor Justin Huen as Lopez, checking light levels.
The key to any successful Technical Rehearsal: donuts!