TECH HAPPENS

By Anne Flinders, dramaturg

Brigham Young University’s production of Pride and Prejudice opens this coming Friday,
March 21st, which means the week leading up to those final dress rehearsals and opening night is dedicated to technical rehearsals, a.k.a. tech week. This is the week the cast begins rehearsing on the set in the Pardoe Theatre; the lights are hung, focused and finalized by the light designer and crew; the sound is equipped and cued by the sound designer; the set dressings and props are labeled and placed, and the costumes are “paraded” (or worn by the actors onstage) for one last, long, decisive look by the costume designer and staff. This is the week everything–the writing, acting and technical theatre–comes together.

The Bennets onstage for the first time, rehearsal corsets and all!

The Bennets onstage for the first time, rehearsal corsets and all!

Culminating tech week at BYU is a Saturday technical rehearsal known as a 10-out-of-12. This rehearsal is pretty much what it sounds like: a 12-hour day in which 10 hours are spent working the technical aspects into the show with the actors, broken up by two one-hour breaks. The rehearsal is run cue-to-cue, meaning the actors play a scene at the beginning of a cue and then skip to the end of that scene and the beginning of the next. This gives the technical crew opportunities to work their cues into the context of the play’s flow without having to wait for entire scenes to be played.

The Bennets enjoy a lengthy technical theatre pause in the parlour.

The Bennets enjoy a lengthy technical theatre pause in the parlour.

Tech rehearsal also means the actors spend a lot of time waiting…waiting for lighting adjustments to be made, waiting for sound cues to be replayed, and waiting to learn where that prop will be laid. All that waiting means one thing…social media! Below are pics and posts that were made during tech week for Pride and Prejudice.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE TECH WEEK with pictures from Becky Maskell, Lindsay Clark, Hillary Straga and Melissa Leilani Larson, our guides for this social media tour.

10-out-of-12 tech rehearsal with Becky Maskell and Allyson Thaxton

10-out-of-12 tech rehearsal with Becky Maskell and Allyson Thaxton

 Becky Maskell:  And. Here. We. Go! Welcome to tech week errybody! Today is a day of patience, long suffering, temperance, etc. Welcome to 12 hour tech rehearsal. So grateful for our awesome cast & crew. Let the bonding commence!

BECKY MASKELL selfie.

BECKY MASKELL  alla rehearsal corset under that stylin’ jacket

Another rehearsal corset, this time on HIllary Straga (playing Lady Catherine de Bourgh)

Another rehearsal corset, this time worn by Hillary Straga (playing Lady Catherine de Bourgh)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Becky Maskell: Rehearsal corset. Apparently it’s the latest fashion…

 

The actors portraying the Bennet family await lighting and sound cues to be finalized.

The actors portraying the Bennet family await lighting and sound cues to be finalized.

Melissa Leilani Larson: A letter from Jane.

 

Almost all the cast parading costumes for the Netherfield Ball scene.

Almost all the cast parading costumes for the Netherfield Ball scene.

Comments below this picture include: “All those lovely gowns.” “And regimentals!” “What a fun pic!” “This makes me feel excited to see the play!”

 

Lindsay Clark: Our lovely set.

A long pause as the cast waits (again) for the crew.

A long pause as the cast waits (again) for the crew. Great art takes great patience.

 

Becky Maskell: 8 hrs down…4 to go! We got this! 

Becky Maskell as the day wears on...

Becky Maskell as the day wears on…

Lizzy and Mr. Collins techin' each other out.

Lizzy and Mr. Collins “techin'” each other out. (See what we did there?)

Taking a long look at the full stage for PRIDE AND PREJUCIDE.

Taking a long look at the full stage for PRIDE AND PREJUCIDE. Characters being introduced as portraits within frames.

Logan Hayden: Among the frames I have worked on for PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

Melissa Leilani Larson: Woohoo Logan!

Lindsay Clark:  …Mr. Collins’ portrait.

Jacob Swain as Mr Collins waiting for lighting effects to be tested.

Jacob Swain as Mr Collins waiting for lighting effects to be tested.

Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas--they were framed!

Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas–they were framed!

Melissa Leilani Larson: Collins, Charlotte, and a ring to rule them all…

 

Ted Bushman as Mr. Darcy, waiting by the pianoforte.

Ted Bushman as Mr. Darcy, waiting by the pianoforte.

Col. Fitzwilliam and... other things.

Col. Fitzwilliam and… other things.

An admirer on Facebook: Logan, you were born to wear that outfit.  Logan Hayden replies: Awe shucks.

And at the end of a 12-hour day…

Logan Hayden: Prayers ascended, answers descended and now it has ended. For today at least.

All Melissa Leilani Larson wants to know is….

Pre- or post- tech rehearsal? @Denny's....

@ Denny’s: Pre- or post- tech rehearsal?

In the Midst of Tech

by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg

Friday night, The Servant of Two Masters entered the newest phase of rehearsal: tech.  Technical Rehearsals (most commonly known as “tech”) is when we leave the classroom we’ve been rehearsing in and move on stage.  One by one, the technical elements of costume, make-up, lights, sound, and props are added, and every night we get a little closer to having the full show on stage.

For this show, the first order of business was spacing.  With the nature of the set, the cast needed time to see how blocking they’ve been practicing worked with the backdrop (with its door and shutters), the fountain, the ropes, and the entrances and exit.

Once the cast felt comfortable with the space, the second element added was props. While the cast had access to “rehearsal props” during the first few weeks (items that resemble or stand in place of the actual props), the transition from rehearsal props to real props can always be a little tricky. Some items don’t work the same way, or are a slightly different size or shape, and so the cast, director, stage manager and prop designer have to work together to make sure that everything is perfect.

Tonight we start to add two more elements: lights and costumes. Since lights and costumes can have a major effect on each other (just imagine what would happen if you had a beautiful red dress put under a dark green light), lights and costumes are being added together to make sure that both designers (as well as the director) are happy with the results.

With each night we are getting one step closer to the final look of the show!

And just to give you an idea, here’s a little sneak peak at one of our publicity photos…

servant pub

 

Adventures in LA

by Janine Sobeck, dramaturg

kcactf_bannerFor the last week, a majority of the cast and production team for The Servant of Two Masters traveled with a group from the BYU theatre department to Los Angeles for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF). Though out the year, colleges and universities from around the country are judged on the different shows they produce – everything from the acting to the design to the dramaturgy to the stage management.  Students have the possibility to be nominated for different awards and then every year they come together at KCACTF to compete.  KCACTF starts as a regional competition (Utah is in Region 8, along with Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and parts of California), and the winners from each category travel to Washington DC to compete at the national level.

The week in LA was a great opportunity to see the cast and production team in a new light.  Not only were they competing in their nominated categories, but many were involved in different workshops and opportunities throughout the week.

Now that we’ve returned to Utah, its time to kick rehearsal into a whole new gear.  We have about a week and a half before we start technical rehearsals, where we will add costumes, lights, make-ups, wigs, sound and the set to the world that is being created. Until then, the time will be spent polishing and refining the work that was done before KCACTF. In other words, this is where the fun really begins.

End of Phantom Tech Week

by Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg

The time has come for the actors to rest before opening night. They have gone through an arduous week of tech rehearsals. However, even before the actors began to go live on stage, the production crew gathered together for what is called “paper tech” rehearsal. Paper tech is a rehearsal where the stage manager, lighting designer, stage designer, sound designer, costume designers, and just about every person involved in the technical aspect of the show, gather together and make sure all their notes coincide. Since I wasn’t part of the technical crew I went to see first-hand what goes on in these meetings. While incredibly dry and routine, this is an essential aspect so when everyone arrives in the theater, they are all on the same page. With only a week to rehearse with the technical elements, we needed every minute we could get.

Long nights ensued as the actors, make-up artists, costume designers, stage hands, etc. began to form many entities into a finely tuned instrument. We stopped on many occasions to fix errors and perfect the show. I attended various rehearsals, and I am blown away by all the talent found in this show.

This week we end tech week and begin to open the show. We have prepared for our guests. We have sold out performances. However, rush tickets are still available to students only. Here are a few pictures I snapped during tech week. It’s another sneak-peak into the Phantom of the Opera we have created here at BYU.

Preparing Vocally

Preparing Vocally

Preparing Wigs and Make-up

Preparing Wigs and Make-up

Preparing the Stage and Visual Cues

Preparing the Stage and Visual Cues

Preparing the Lights

Preparing the Lights

Super excited for opening week!

A Playwright’s Perspective: Tech Week

by Ariel Mitchell, playwright

Tech week. Each night it becomes more real.

Every layer we add to the production (set, costumes, lights, music) helps me to see the world more clearly.

I came into production photos last Wednesday and saw the costumes for the first time. The whole cast was in Afghani clothing. I was surprised. I don’t know why. I mean, it’s not like they were going to perform the play in street clothes! And I did set the piece in Afghanistan. I didn’t recognize any of the actors, but all it took was close to solidify them into the characters they had already become: Nasima, Yasir, Laila, Azadeh, Zeman, and Hoda.

Last night, I saw the lights and heard the music for the first time. I was in shock. I really don’t know why these things surprise me, but they make me SO excited. I have waited so long to see the piece realized and then all of a sudden, one flick of a switch and it is. The combination of the presentational, vibrantly colored lighting and the hauntingly beautiful music translated me immediately to the far away land of the Middle East.

I can’t believe it. We’re getting so close…