Christmas Carol Chronicles, Part XXI
You would think that after doing the show a number of times over the last week that I'd have a sense of how long it runs, yes? No. While I knew that the first act seemed shorter than the second, that was about all I knew for certain. Being on the stage the whole time in a character as rich as Scrooge, I kind of get lost in the space/time continuum.
Based on what I observed yesterday, Act One appears to be 40-45 minutes long with the second being about an hour, plus or minus 10-15 minutes. All I know for certain is that we were in our dressing room taking our make-up off at about a quarter past ten.
Everyone did great last night night.
"It was a giant leap forward," exclaimed director Jacqueline Russell as she came in the room for notes. The lines are more solid, transitions are tighter and there was more energy.
"You're ready for an audience," she said.
These amazing volunteers are working hard to make this show something to remember. I'm especially grateful for those who are muscling through despite being under the weather. Tim Heggie, playing Bob Cratchit, has been suffering from a bad cold for a number of days. Stephen Cantwell had to deal with a bout of strep throat and is only now starting to get his voice back. And assistant stage manager Jack Bartlett was blue under the gills last night with a touch of stomach flu. I heard rumblings of several other people dealing with gastrointestinal maladies.
The rehearsal process unquestionably demands a lot from our bodies. The amount of hours we spend working, outside of our regular work or school responsibilities, demands that we take extra good care of ourselves. Eating well, getting as much quality sleep as we can, and drinking lots of water are essential. All three can be challenging to do, despite our best intentions.
Tonight we will play in front of a few select invited guests. Tomorrow we preview. Friday we open. In just over a week, we'll perform A Christmas Carol for the final time and scatter into the wind.
This is magic time, when all the work that has been done over the last 6 weeks begins to coalesce into an amazing theatrical experience, from the perspective of the audience and those of us playing the story.