Lee Comedy Club Blog
March 5 , 2005
By Rebecca ("Beck") Krefting
University of Maryland
Today's rehearsal marked the beginning of an end. We relocated to the school gymnasium where we will rehearse until the show's opening night on Friday, April 15 th . We have four more rehearsals until the week of the show when we will have rehearsal every night of the week until Friday. With only five weeks till the show we are starting to recognize the importance of being prepared and on task at every moment. Harry has begun blocking each sketch and hopes to move through 10-14 pages of the show every week. This requires attentiveness from the students and a vigilance on our part to make sure the students are in the right places at the right times. We have recruited several of the students to aid in rallying cast members for each scene. Michael Rossi is particularly good at this and has become our student director in training.
There are many methods for disseminating the blocking and we have tried nearly all of these. Yet, we find that many of our methods do not keep the rehearsals moving as swiftly as we would like. During our group discussion after rehearsal, Dale Stein, our personal professional writer, came up with a scathingly brilliant idea. Why not post the blocking up on the bleachers for each scene and make the students responsible for writing their stage movements into their scripts. This way when they get on stage they will already have a sense of where they are going and when (in theory). This also frees up many high school and college aids who were formerly running around crazy like trying to gather the appropriate students, a difficult task in and of itself but even more so when you consider that many of the students needed may actually already be on stage in another scene that is being rehearsed. Hopefully this strategy will allow the students to be even more involved and give them a sense of autonomy in this process.
Also this week, we distributed binders containing the show flow, cast lists, and the script for Act I. Never before has the Comedy Club had the means to afford individual binders, something that could actually save a lot of money in copies, providing students don't lose their binders. The students were thrilled, elated, and downright eye-popping as they saw the beautifully pristine new binders containing all they needed to know. Many wanted to add their Act II scripts to the binder and requested a hole puncher in order to do so... their ingenuity and organization nearly brought me to tears (not really, but it was moving).
All in all the rehearsal was a success, apparently a greater success than was ever had before on the first day of gym rehearsal (so my sources say). It seems that the first rehearsal in the gym is relatively futile because the new environment releases endorphins in the students who then become moved to hoot, holler, climb bleachers, play the disappearing game etc. Fortunately for us this year's first gym day was an exception, one that pleased us all, particularly Harry who actually had a smile on his face as he left that day.
One more thing... we were interviewed by Mark, a student from the University of Maryland, who is doing a TV news story on the Comedy Club. So be looking for that coming up soon on your local UMTV channel. If I know in advance I'll post it for all interested parties. That's all for now.
This is Beck.