Now that Farmer's Daughters is open I'm finally getting around to see all the other rehearsals that are currently underway. All week I'll be reporting on how things are going. Last night I was fortunate enough to visit Stacey and the gang rehearsing the 3rd show in the Ennotville Season, First Kisses.
It was a dark and stormy night south of Fergus at the secondary rehearsal hall. The rain was just barely holding off as the van pulled in, with a trailer carrying the set.
Putting up the set was an adventure in and of itself, with lots of wooden pegs and modular construction - this should be a snap to load-in and set up. And it's completely painted too - another bonus.
When the actors arrived there was much rejoicing - one of them was there for the first time. Like many shows this summer, we have had difficulty finding the men, but now all seems to be set to rights with this show, and I watched quietly as they launched into blocking the second act of the play. I noticed how the actors seemed to jump seamlessly from their daily personalities into the characters - even though they were playing characters much older than themselves (by the end of the play the two characters are in their 70's). I have to admit that I was a little nervous about this one - a young cast, a young director, a young stage manager - no one involved in this show is over 25 except the set designer, and, much to my chagrin, now even me.
As it turned out I needn't have worried. Stacey has a great directorial insight, especially for a rookie director. She knows what needs to be done and isn't afraid to push the actors where they need to go to get it, yet she does it in her usual pleasant tone and manner. On top of that she's blessed with some great material - this script is a real undiscovered treasure of comedy and charm. And these young people, while they were clearly having a lot of fun (despite the cold weather!) were taking what they were doing very seriously, and had a great level of commitment to the play, something you don't always see even in plays with much older people.
People - you've got to come out and see this show! It opens July 24th at the library, and will run for three weeks. I think it could be the "sleeper hit" of the 2008 summer season. It certainly has the ingredients.
Tonight, I'm off to Salem to visit the Relatively Speaking rehearsals. The tour continues!