Every theatre production we mount is full of its own perils, especially when you are in the two week stretch before opening night. As much of my recent work has been with South Shore Theatre, I will use them as the example. We are all unpaid, non-retired persons who typically enjoy the experience of a 2 rehearsal per week schedule, as they become just as much a social event as a working one. However, once we get into this stretch, the anxiety builds, the tempers flare and exhaustion is a consistent companion.
Take this week for instance. Due to some unforeseen complications, our major set-building day was pretty much a bust, meaning that the set needed to be continued on other days that rehearsals were required on. So here we are, trying to concentrate on our blocking and our lines while drills and saws are buzzing away, and those building the set keep up a steady conversation as to what goes where. The combination of all these events occurring in a space less than 50’x50′ makes for one serious headache.
Energy plunges. We get snippy at each other. Part of you is sorely tempted to just quit and walk away. Then you get out of the theatre, put on some music, have a glass of wine and realize that what occurred is pretty much the same thing that’s occurred for the last ten shows you’ve been in. And you’ve survived each time to come back for more.
Yes, it seems like a masochist’s dream come true. But it’s all part of a whole lot of people putting all of their passion into their art. And for all the hardships we go through, when the show is finally presented it’s like none of that crap ever happened. It all sloughs right off on opening night and it increases your need for more and more shows.
So, why do we choose to do this when we know we are going to suffer a bit? For the final product, baby. There’s no experience quite like it.