Global Challenge: The English Theatre Frankfurt – Jessica Thackray Week 3 – Tech Week

Week 3 – Tech Week

Since my last blog I have been attending regular rehearsals for Alice in Wonderland, alongside cueing Death and the Maiden in the evenings. Death and the Maiden finished its run on Saturday 11th July at 10pm and the Alice in Wonderland ‘get in’ started immediately after. The ‘get in’ involved the whole technical team removing the previous set, rigging new lights and preparing everything so we were ready to start the Alice technical rehearsals on Monday. Everyone was prepared that this was a very tight turnaround for a show, meaning that everyone had to be on-board, focussed and keep as best as possible to the schedule.

the eng theatre 5

To quickly reflect on the Alice in Wonderland rehearsals… it has been both interesting and enjoyable to sit in on these- one, because I absolutely love Lewis Carroll’s book and two, because a lot of the cast members were quite young so it was lovely to work with them on what was many of their first experiences onstage. One of the problems that we (the technical team) faced though was the regular changes to the blocking. Every rehearsal there were significant changes to the movements and script, which meant that the lighting designer, Johannes, found it quite difficult to design the lighting. This then impacted on Stage Management as I was unable to thoroughly prepare for the technical rehearsal. At University, we had a lighting plot session before the technical rehearsal to allow questions and rough plotting to be made into the desks and into the book. However, due to the problems and tight schedule we were unable to do this and I was also not given a provisional cue sheet to read and try to understand before the technical rehearsal. This made me feel a little more nervous and quite under-prepared, but Anna and Umberto told me how they have often been in situations similar or even worse. This did make me feel much better and although I was a little nervous, I was really excited to start the week. Admittedly, not everyone was as excited, due to it being a very tight schedule already and the technical rehearsals being usually the most stressful experience of the production.

My role within the technical rehearsal was conversing with the designers and the director and by doing so, ensure that the Director’s vision and concept was being created onstage. Whenever there was a problem with either one of the technical elements, or one of the actors needed clarification onstage, I had to call ‘hold there’, ensure a solution was sorted and then re-start the technical rehearsal. At times, many people were quite stressed but I ensured that I was always fair and calm as I knew that if I was to get stressed myself- then others would too.

the eng theatre 6

I really enjoyed my experience of the technical rehearsal and I am now looking forward to the dress rehearsal tomorrow and then the preview performance on Thursday. The preview involves local schools being invited to attend the show for a first viewing before opening night (Friday)!

By Jessica Thackray

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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