Well howdy; we’re back at it again. Last night we headed back to Oklahoma to start our third weekend of performances. We had a smaller audience, but they all seem to enjoy the show. Before the show, we sang Oklahoma as our usual part of vocal warm ups, but Kristin, our Music Director, didn’t think we put enough energy in it, so we sang through it again, with ENERGY. Tonight’s performance will be our 10th performance, leaving 13 more to go over the next few weekends. When it is all said and done, we will have had 23 public performances. That will be the most performances I have acted in since my time with Youth Performance Company and Child’s Play (Stages) Theatre Company in the early 1990’s. The most performances I have performed in were 72 when I was an extra (essential) in Candide at the Guthrie Theater in 1990.
Most community theatres in and around the Twin Cities usually have a two weekend run, normally 5 – 7 performances. So our run is just over two times more than a normal community run. Some of the reasons we have a longer run is that Lyric Arts house is smaller and more intimate than other theatres, but it also give more patrons as chance to come out to see a production, as they will have additional opportunities to work it in their schedule. One of my reasons that I wanted to be in this production at Lyric, other than the title, was because of the run length. It makes all the hard work of rehearsal so much more worth it since will last more than two weekends.
Some of the challenges of performing the same show for so many performances are staying physically and vocally prepared, while you are also working and/or going to school. Other challenges are doing your best to keep the show consistent for each audience, but yet, keep every performance fresh, not only for them, but also for our sake too. My biggest struggle is trying to save my voice, but it has been difficult to do as I use talk all day at my job to 20+ preschoolers every day, while reading, singing and teaching. Being that I am an ensemble member, I don’t have many lines and only sing a few songs, but the leads are working very hard out there, and trying to keep their show/character consistent.
In my eleven seasons working backstage at The Children’s Theatre Company, I have worked on several long performance runs, the longest was with last springs “Annie” which had 95 performances. I have always been amazed with how the actors could not only do 10 performances a week, but also, at times, be either working another job, or rehearsing another show. What has never failed to impress me is when the student’s actors can do so many rehearsals and performances while maintaining their school grades, among other activities and jobs.
Keep checking back here to see if I can make it… YEOW!