Here we go again. It’s opening week for “The Crucible,” with a group of very talented young people. The real magic started this past Saturday as new light effects and sound were added along with costumes. It seems each time something new is added, the brain atrophies. Words which were firmly implanted there a few days ago have flown right out the window hopefully to be rescued before opening night.
The beauty of the teenaged mind is that it’s still not completely full. It acts as a sponge at this time of life. When you get to be my age, memorizing lines is like thirty five hours of brutal exercise. It’s still funny that no matter what the age of the actor, we all wait until the last minute to memorize those bloody lines and if you’re a great improviser, that can help you to glide through, but it throws a monkey wrench at those waiting for the proper cue line.
I’ve gotten back into performing on stage again and can relate to the necessity of learning lines early. However I often find myself re-writing the script from time to time. Not only is this a disservice to fellow cast members, but to the playwright who struggled to find just the right mix of words to create his masterpiece.
I should’ve kept track of every theatre production I’ve ever been involved in, but that was just another piece of information taking up space in my ever overloading brain. Instead, I keep on going. Live theatre is so exciting because you never know what’s going to happen until it does. Those are the moments you remember most when recalling your experience.
This has been a difficult script, because of its subject matter, along with a different kind of language style. The use of early American dialect in the 1600s has been challenging, but the cast has been working hard to carry on.
Opening night is just a few days away. We still have three days to tighten everything up. We have a terrific director, who has also used this piece to teach the cast many interesting facts about the historical event of the Salem witch trials – mass hysteria – religious influence – superstition and the real life characters who were a part of this entire event. I know I’ve learned a ton by being part of it.
I have also found a new niche in my continuing theatre career. This is the fifth show I’ve stage managed. It’s so exciting to watch someone else’s vision come to fruition. Having sat in a director’s chair for so many years, I know all the elements involved in putting on a good show along with educating the cast in some way. My age has taken its physical toll on me, but my brain still works (most of the time) so stage managing is the perfect job for me.
Now let’s go on with the show . . . .