Playwright in Tech

D -1 Day

It's an absolute law in theatre production that if you're producing a show in a rented space, you "own" that space for the last seven days, 24 hours a day, no exceptions. There's just too much to do with hanging lights, building sets, painting, rehearsing, etc, for it to be otherwise. But of course, in L.A., if it's a theatre law, it's made to be broken. A standard practice for small spaces down here is to supplement rental income with acting classes taught in the space. (If the number of acting classes in L.A. somehow correlated to the quality of acting, the place would be crawling with Oliviers.) So the theatre was utterly unavailable to us Monday, Tuesday, and from 2pm to midnight yesterday. Insanity! (The ludicrous upside of this was I got to go watch a friend of mine tape a guest star appearance on the sit-com Becker. Not crazy about the show, but my friend did a great job, and I got to witness my first "taping". I'll write about that some other time.)

That said, we had an awfully promising run-through of the show yesterday before 2. The guy playing Greg really "took the note" and added a wonderful layer of boxed-in anal-retention. And this after I thought I was going to have to fill in for him because he booked a couple lines on ER, and was going to have to miss the rehearsal altogether. (This is another constantly looming frustration in L.A.: actors can actually make money here, so if they're any good, they can be called away at a moment's notice to shoot some film or t.v. show.) Happily, the actor's call got pushed back.

Bottom line: yesterday's run through went a very long way to put me at ease and make me think we might actually have a show on our hands. There's still a shit-load left to take care of on the technical end-- I was at the theatre from midnight till 4 a.m. last night helping paint and seal the floor-- but I've seen that stuff come together eleventh hour many times before, so I'm guardedly confident.

Tonight is invited dress. We shouldn't have many people watching, but I hope there's at least a few so that the actors can get a feel for how it "plays" with an audience, where the laugh holds are, etc. (assuming there are any laughs-- "Please, God, let there be laughs").

Playwrights are the very worst sort of foxhole atheists.