Friday, July 4, 2014

Rehearsing "Red Death"

This has been an unusual rehearsal process. For various reasons, like schedules and location availability, we were forced to rehearse the dancers separately from the singers for a long time. Also, early on, the dancers were only available to rehearse when I had to work. Amy Hurrelbrink, who has been in several of our past shows (Lingerie Shop, KHAAAAN! The Musical, Sexing Hitler, Chicken Heart) is the choreographer for this show, and I trust her, and the dancers, completely. But I felt disconnected. And she felt disconnected, because although she had rehearsal recordings of the music, for a long time, they did not include the vocals, so it was hard for her to know what was instrumental, and when people were going to be singing. Of course, that's a detail that's rather important, but there was no way to reconcile that until after the singers knew the music.

Also, Amy killed Tiffany and Josh.

Fortunately, everyone healed nicely.

At the same time, it dawned on me that the script was not the script. This is opera; the script is the music. Daniel Doss was furiously composing, but of course that takes time, and at some point, it occurred to me that I couldn't really start my job of directing until after he was done.

Daniel showing Devon something very technical that I most likely do not understand. Opera singers peak mostly Italian, even when they're speaking English.
So I had to put my time into other things, like designing and building costumes.

And borrowing juggling balls from my brother.

We've finally been able to transition into having the entire cast in the same place at the same time. And we discovered that we had to alter some of the pieces in order to fit the puzzle together. There's no picture on the box to guide us in this process.

Look! A singer is singing and dancers are dancing, IN THE SAME ROOM.

The last couple of rehearsals have been an exciting, and sometimes frustrating, time of discovery. Collaboration really gets my creative heart pumping, and everyone is throwing out ideas to try. Some work, some don't, but the point is, everyone gets invested in the story we're telling. It's exhilarating.

And sometimes, silly.

"Red Death" will be presented at Off-Center Theatre, in Crown Center, as part of the Kansas City Fringe Festival.

The cast:
Nathan Granner
Devon Barnes
Chelsea Anglemyer
Josh Atkins
Amy Hurrelbrink
Tyler Parsons
Tiffany Powell
Coleman Crenshaw

Show dates and times:
Friday, July 18 at 8:00 pm
Saturday, July 19 at 3:30 pm
Monday, July 21 at 7:30 pm
Wednesday, July 23 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, July 24 at 6:00 pm
Saturday, July 26 at 9:00 pm

Tickets are $10, with a one-time purchase of a Fringe button for $5. (Keep the button! It gets you into all Fringe events.) Tickets (and buttons) are available at the box office, or you can order tickets online:


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