We had a rather strange week at Barnyard. With the Fourth of July falling in the middle of the week, rehearsals were a bit disrupted. That said, we got quite a bit done.
On Monday, we began rehearsal in town rather than out at the barn in order to do a kind of toned-down costume parade. Normally, costume parades are where the director can see the full costumes, onstage, preferably under the lights they will be worn. The director and costume designer can then note any changes that need to be made. Theatre in a barn presents some unique challenges. For example, we don't have dressing rooms unless we create them. This year, they likely will not be built until next week. So for our costume trial, we decided to move into town where we have a clean environment, air conditioning (oh, lovely, lovely air conditioning!), and areas for the actors to change. Everyone had soemthing to try on and show off, and Alix, our costume designer, came away with several costume pieces finalized and a list of next steps.
Rehearsal was delayed and scattered for the rest of the evening even after making it out to the barn. It was for a good cause, though. Several folks helped with the delivery of our dimmer rack. It's a giant box on wheels full of lots of metal parts that let us control the lights. It's extremely heavy, but we're glad to have it.
Once that was set in place, work with the actors was able to begin. Maddy worked with Cami (playing Sarah), Jason (playing Ali), and Alison (playing Vera), while Steven worked with Maddie (playing Psyche) and Anthony (playing Peter). Several scenes were tweaked and refined.
Tuesday we ran the show from beginning to end. As of Tuesday, the show is 2 hours, 21 minutes long. This will shift and change as actors become more comfortable with their lines and blocking, and we add in technical elements. This was the first time we ran through without stopping, though, which is always exciting.
We took a day off for the holiday, at least from rehearsal. Several company members spent the evening down at Community Park selling BBQed corn. After running out of corn twice, though (there was a run to the store to get another batch), we folded up shop and were able to enjoy the fireworks show.
I wasn't actually at rehearsal on Thursday, but my assistant stage manager, Jenny, stepped in and kept things running smoothly. Steven worked with Maddie and Anthony to finish up working the rest of their scenes.
Over the course of the week, we gained a second story to the set. We were able to use it by the end of the week. There's still one more section to install, then we'll have all the play spaces built. One of the doors has been installed, and part of the back wall (made of actual barn wood from another old barn up in Williams) has been installed as well.
Lights made a lot of progress this weekend. All of the battens (pipes) were hung on Saturday. As of late Sunday evening, all of the lights were installed, cabled, coloured, and focused on the areas they need to light up. Later this coming week the lighting design team will start creating cues--the programmed looks for each moment of the show.
Most of the speakers and the projector were even in place when I last was at the barn, a few hours ago.
A lot of work was done this week, even though a lot of the time it felt like we were running around all over the place. The set is starting to look like a house, the lights now brighten up the space, and the rehearsal props are being replaced with the actual props.
This week is our tech week. We'll begin folding in the technical elements to the show. Lights, sound, projections, and props will all need to be rehearsed. The material that will be projected needs to be filmed (that's Tuesday's project). This is going to be a crazy week, full of what are likely to be late nights. It should be fun, though, and at the end, the show should look very similar to what the audience will see (except for costumes, which won't be added for another week).
Talk to you next week!
Tiffany Lynn Michael
Stage Manager, Psyche