An Actor's Perspective: The Rehearsal Process

Jennifer Kuzmeskas

  • OnStage Massachusetts Columnist

After the long wait between auditions and the first rehearsal the wait is finally over! The rehearsal process is off and running.  Being the first rehearsal, everyone was super excited, possibly the only time everyone will be there early. You could feel the excitement in the air! Everyone was all smiles and I can’t even begin to tell you all the people I hugged. 

It started as most first rehearsals do; the director gave a speech about how excited he is to get started. This happens to be one of the director’s favorite shows, so his expectations are high.  We were also lucky enough to find out about all the different things he plans to do with the show.  Some of the best shows I have done, and had the most fun performing, are the ones where the vision was different from the same old production. You know the productions, where the show is the same thing you have seen at every other community theatre in the area just with different people.  

It was such a different experience to hear about all of the unique ideas the director has planned and his vision, before we even got started. We were able to get an image in our heads and know where the director was headed from the very start.  And, I must say, this version will be different from any other production I have ever seen of this show.  There will be moving stairs, trees and other set pieces. The idea is to do something similar to theatre in the round; I am calling it theatre in the ¾. There will be a square stage, pit behind the stage and audience on the other three sides.  

Unlike most directors and groups, this director also shared how important this show is to him and this particular theatre group. He explained how he wants this show to put the group on the map. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where the arts are alive and well, there are many community theatres to perform and work with.  It’s obvious; this director wants this to be the best experience and show for all involved. To kick things off he wanted to give the cast their first bonding experience and great memory, we had cake and toasted to having fun and creating an amazing show together.  It may sound like a small thing, but what a great, easy way to get everyone to share a positive experience and share a memory right from the start.  

There are many other ideas too, but those will come out as the rehearsal process goes on.

After all the posts on Facebook and having not seen each other since auditions or callbacks it was nice to put some faces with names.  Everyone had a chance to share their name, the role they are playing and a fun fact about themselves.  We have so many great people in this cast…we have someone who has been on Deal or No Deal, a couple that got married less than a month ago, someone who just received her Master’s degree, another couple that just closed on a house and someone else who teaches Math and offered to help those still in school with their homework.   

After a few more logistical discussions, the moment we had all been waiting for, we FINALLY got to sing together. Hearing all the talent and voices come together was truly amazing.  We jumped right in too, after a vocal warm-up we started with the opening of the show. Our leads had the opportunity to start showing their stuff too.  I can honestly say the talent in this show is unbelievable. Between the director’s unique vision and amazingly talented cast, I am very sure that this is going to be one of those shows that should not to be missed.  

The director says, off book for the opening at the next rehearsal…time to hit the books (or should I say libretto)! 

Photo: Waterworks Players