It was Hamlet who said it, but if you want to "catch" someone's conscience, or anything they don't normally show you, then certainly a play is the perfect place to do it. We've just finished our second "go-round" with The Hollow, and have finished working out most of the kinks in the blocking.
I'm breathing a huge, huge sigh of relief now that it is becoming clear that everyone has survived the "books down" fairly intact - the lines aren't perfect yet, but they are coming along very nicely, and no one is floundering hopelessly. Learning lines is one of my few strong suits as an actor, so I have to work extra hard to find sympathy for people who are having difficulty, even if I don't understand why it's such a big chore.
Now we move into the "polishing" phase of rehearsals. We will start to run bigger chunks of the play, and I won't be stopping and starting, we'll just bust on through and do a notes session at the end, where I go through the things I'd like to address. We'll get through the play in just three rehearsals this time around, and then we'll start running the entire play in a single night.
For actors who know their lines I think this is one of the times in the process they enjoy the most. The tedium of me nit-picking about blocking and stage business is largely over, and they get a chance to get a feel for how the show flows from one scene to the next. I enjoy it because I become more of a listener than a talker in rehearsals, responding to what the actors bring to their roles rather than me suggesting what they might like to consider.
Our publicist tells me tickets are going pretty well for this, so if you're thinking of coming to the show you had better get your tickets soon. I don't say this often about a show, but if you don't call ahead there is a chance you might not get in. Tickets are $15 each, and the performance on Thursday, March 27th is sold out, so it's just the 28th and 29th at 8pm that are still available. The Fergus Grand box office is 519-787-1981.
Notes to follow...