Well.... This is it! We're down to one final dress rehearsal until we open one of the biggest projects that Chicago Street Theatre has ever attempted. Press we received in Sunday's Times has helped us realize the momentum this play is building as we entered into our final week of rehearsals. The production is looking fantastic as the set was completed this weekend and we began our tech week on Monday night. JoBeth Cruz and her costumers also worked around the clock over the weekend to put finishing touches that are needed for the thirty or so costumes that are being used in the show.
The cast keeps getting better and better as their costumes help further define the characters that they are playing. Our motto has been "Roll With It" because of the many unknown variables we might encounter with our outdoor performances. This week we have continued to make cuts in the script that will be performed at the park to focus primarily on telling the three stories that occur in the play. Since the beginning our goal has been to make the play as accessible as possible for audiences young and old. I believe we have put together a truly entertaining and beautiful telling of Midsummer.
With our Monday night rehearsal also came the introduction of sound, lights, costumes, and props. Music Designer, Nancy Haller and Super Sound Guy, Paul Braun worked all day Sunday to create the musical soundtrack that will underscore the production. The production contains music that is both familiar and unexpected that adds to the total experience of the production. Braden Cleary, who is teaching our Summer Theatre program, stepped up, with some help from our student tech apprentices, to Stage Manage our production. Braden is awesome and is coordinating everything that goes on backstage with sound, lights, actors and kids. Did we mention that there are kids?
One Cardinal rule we broke early on was that old show biz rule about not working with children or animals. Well, this production is doing both. We have seven children (all under 10 years old) in the play who were cast as small fairies and young versions of our two female ingenues. In addition, Carly Smith, who plays the fairy, Peaseblossom, has lent the talents of her dog Bella to play the priceless pooch of one of our Rude Mechanicals. In our rehearsals this week the children have howled with laughter as they have watched the adults perform their scenes. For me this has really reinforced the show's appeal and accessibility.
As we move toward this Friday's opening there is still lots to do for the festival parts of the event, and fine tuning the technical aspects of the show. Thursday night we get one shot at perfecting our all of the technical aspects of the show, our player's performances for outdoors, and putting up and taking down our traveling set. Although the massive size of all of this is daunting, I'm quite certain that audiences will appreciate our endeavors. I'm hoping that anyone reading this blog has already invited thirty-five hundred of their closest friends to be at Central Park Plaza this Friday and Saturday! There's still some gallery preferred seating available if you give Mike a call at 219-464-1636. Tell everyone you know that they do not want to miss this event!
See you this weekend!
Posted by Director Eric Brant