Christmas Carol Chronicles, Part XIX

"This doesn't seem like quite as busy a schedule as other shows you've done," observed Heather upon our return from a very long weekend of technical rehearsals for A Christmas Carol.  While I know she is right - rehearsals for musical productions are much longer and seemingly more onerous - my body is not feeling the difference.  "I'm as pooped as a periwinkle in the Punjab," to quote one of the best lines in the play.

We have successfully made it through cue-to-cue and we managed to get through our first run through of the show with tech with only a few minor stops along the way.  Special thanks to the technical folks who joined us over the weekend for picking things up so quickly.  We've been living with this story for over six weeks; they jumped in and assimilated a lot of detail and nuance in just a few hours.

While Nathalie has been away for a few days (God bless Kathleen and Tanner for stepping in to cover), both her and Jack have done a great job of assistant stage managing a show with a lot of complicated bits and pieces.  They began their Keyano Theatre Company adventures in Hometown...The Musical! playing my grandchildren.  They seem all grown up now, in more ways than one.  I'm proud of them both and grateful for their efforts at keeping us on track behind the scenes, and to all those who are helping them.

As an actor, it is difficult to fully appreciate the work of the lighting designer.  We work in the light, but have no idea as to the effect it is creating. Based on comments I've heard from other members of the artistic team, Byron Hnatuk has done a brilliant job of colouring this story with light.  A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan and a Saskatoon resident, Byron is making his Keyano Theatre debut with A Christmas Carol.  We are so pleased that he is with us.

I've worked with a lot of directors over the years, Maralyn Ryan, James MacDonald, Tom Peacock, Jonathan Christenson, Claude Giroux among them.  The experience of working with Jacqueline Russell has been outstanding.  She is patient yet firm, flexible yet focused; she is intense in her desire to tell a great story, but delightfully fun in embracing the joy of the creative process.

These are long and arduous days for the creative team.  Roger, Melissa, Eugene, Byron, Steph, Jacqueline and many others are putting in extremely long days and nights to put the final shine on what is going to be a beautiful show.  While the cast put in a full 22 hours of rehearsal between Friday and Sunday, the artistic team and crew put in even more.

Meanwhile, back at home, spouses, children, parents and assorted family members are missing their loved ones.  We could not effectively do this without the support and encouragement of those we say goodbye to every night and weekend that we leave for the theatre.  They all have our deepest gratitude for allowing us this great adventure.


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