Theater tech rehearsal: A world of its own
s I immerse myself, more and more, into the magical world of theatre, I often wonder how certain things happen: auditions, rehearsals, backstage activities. I even asked my friend a couple of weeks ago if I was allowed to just go to an audition and not audition. I want to see it all! I would love to volunteer in some manner in theatre in the future and see it all for myself, but time has not allowed for that as of yet.
But a play about a tech rehearsal? I definitely had time for that!
UF's School of Theatre + Dance presents Anne Washburn's 10 out of 12, directed by Russel Schultz and performed at The Constans Theatre. The title stems from the rule that actors can only work for 10 hours out of any 12-hour period.
10 out of 12 has us eavesdropping on a technical rehearsal, or "tech", as real life drama such as personal lives, injuries, and diva personalities threaten the show's progress. We get an insider look at what goes on during a technical rehearsal, mishaps and all.
We hear the professional, and not so professional, discussions occurring over headsets, on stage, and backstage. We hear actors suggesting last minute scene changes and additions. We hear personal drama between the actors. And we hear as a crewmember gets injured and uses electrical tape as temporary treatment until the rehearsal is over and he can go to the emergency room.
While I thought it was pretty cool to sit in on a tech rehearsal, we only see 2 hours of a 12-hour rehearsal, which leaves a lot out, like a plot. This play is not about the cast or the story. It's about the process. The script is mostly tech talk but also includes random remarks like comments about snacks and misplaced knives. In theory, it sounds pretty cool. But, in my opinion, it was a little too techy. I'd like to see more story and less tech talk.
That said, I did find it funny. I did enjoy myself. And I wasn't alone -- my fellow audience members seemed to enjoy it, as well. There was a lot of laughter and applause. The actors did a great job, the set (designed by Tim Castell) was amazing. But as someone who loves going to the theatre and then discussing the play after, this left little to discuss about the meaning of the play.
To quote director Russel Schultz from the program: "You will now be initiated into this wonderful, crazy, and exhilarating event that we call tech. You will see proof of the assertion that for every one minute you see on stage, the director, designers, actors, and crew have probably spent ten hours collectively planning, rehearsing, and executing."