By Victoria Chatfield (Executive Director)
(Our directors, Benjamin Viertel and Lio Sigerson, with their mentor, Travis Greisler)
Is there anything more magical than the first day of rehearsal?
You spend days (or weeks or even months) reading and re-reading your script, mapping out how to get to the rehearsal studio, perhaps even stalking your fellow cast and crew members on Facebook. (Not like we've ever done that or anything. Really.) And then you're finally in that dimly-lit whitewashed room, sitting in between your director and your stage manager, and you're ready to begin.
Unfortunately, I can't really say anything about what happened in the rehearsal rooms because I was sitting out in the lobby. (Kayleen Pena, however, was in both rehearsal studios and will be sending along a full update.) Instead, I sat outside in the lobby and met with our mentor director, Travis Greisler. His official title might be "mentor director" but he's as much my mentor as he is theirs. Tonight, I was fretting about constructing an entire ramp out of plexiglass. Can we afford that amount of plexiglass? How can we treat the plexiglass to make it translucent as opposed to transparent? How are our technical directors going to be able to cut the plexiglass into the dimensions that we need? How are we going to be able to light the plexiglass ramp from the inside? And, most importantly, are all of our actors going to safe running up and down a plexiglass ramp? These are the questions that keep me (and would keep any producer worth their salt) up at night.
Travis, of course, has all the answers. He recommended hiring someone to check in with our technical directors a few times during the build to ensure that they have the resources and support necessary to construct a set piece of that magnitude. We've hired two extraordinarily talented technical directors, Ben Spinale and Neil Stoelting. I originally budgeted for only one technical director, but they were both so solid in the interview and had such complimentary resumes that I couldn't be satisfied with just one! (Especially not when Neil pitched the idea that the two of them could build the entire set together! No extra crew members needed until load-in!) I know that they'll be up to the challenge of building the set -- whatever it may look like in its finalized version.
When everyone came out of the rehearsal studios, there was already a sense of camaraderie in the air. I can't wait to see how the company and their work grows and changes over the next few weeks. I'm going to leave you with some thoughts from orientation, compliments of the amazing folks that I get to work with every day:
"The positivity toward production is awesome! Very excited!!!" - Dominique (Emily)
"Orientation: socializing and eating burritos, chips, and chocolate cinnamon cookies." - Kayleen (Director of Marketing)
"I believe I can fly." - Brian (Jack)
"Plexiglass." - Ben S. (Technical Director)
"I am super excited to transform into Petey the Parrot in the coming weeks. Watch out world -- we're coming." - Adam (Petey)
"Lots of new faces. I'm excited to get to know them all even more." - Brooke (Understudy)
"So exciting! Especially hyped for Adam's parrot blazer. So looking forward to getting to know everyone better." - Kaitlin (Elise)
"So good to meet my new family!" - Carmel (Stage Manager)
"The only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud." - Morgan (Sound Designer)
"Excited to get working!" - Lio (Director)
"My wings are flapping with excitement!" - Ben V. (Director)
"Love the whole cast and crew. I just know this summer and production will be fantastic!" - Anneliese (Lighting Designer)
"Exciting to see so many bright faces. They glow with passion and excitement for this new project we started today." - Christian (Photos)
So glad to be working with you, NTSA Family! Can't wait until the show!