Photo credit: Cast of Scenes From the Bathhouse. Photo By Luca Ragogna.

by an ensemble member, Adrian Marchuk.

Putting It Together

In Sunday in the Park with George, Sondheim’s musical about the art of making art, the process of getting from idea all the way from inspiration to presentation is described as ‘putting it together’.

Bit by bit,
Putting it together…
Piece by Piece-
Only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just a vision’s no solution,
Everything depends on execution

‘Putting it together’ is a phrase that describes very well the always-exciting, often-maddening, occasionally-distressing part of the rehearsal process which we broadly refer to as ‘tech’. This is when the piece is moved from the rehearsal hall to the theatre, and where all the technical elements of lighting, props, costume, sound, and set are added. Lines of tape of the floor of the rehearsal hall become the walls and doors of a stage; we develop a backstage choreography of costume changes and prop placement that is as intricate as anything being performed on stage; lighting cues are built, tested, and then thrown out when the blocking changes entirely; and stage managers work 15-hour days with no breaks.

A musical can be even more difficult to navigate though this process, as the form is inherently more complex and precise than most plays demand. Our composer has brilliantly added music to help us transition between scenes, or to underscore and illuminate the action onstage. Choreography and blocking has been altered to work around the set and the boundaries set up by lighting. And our designer has worked tirelessly to accommodate our ever-shifting needs for props, costumes, and set pieces.

This is always a stressful part of the process. Visions of the piece clash, and ideas that seemed perfect in theory may not work out in practice. Actors usually get terrified either of technical elements not showing up, or that the headaches of set and costume changes will obscure the work they’ve done in rehearsal. It can be a challenge to remember that these many professionals, each focused on their own piece of the puzzle, are working toward the same goal:  telling the audience a compelling story on opening night.

We are all storytellers. We channel our energies through text, voice, paint, cues, music, lights, sound, movement, and thought. Our goal is to captivate you for as long as we’ve asked for your attention:  to surprise you, to move you, and to entertain you. Scenes From The Bathhouse will most definitely entertain you, and surprise you. And if we stumble upon a deeper meaning here and there, well then we’re quite simply delighted. You’re the reason we did all this. So enjoy!