Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Theater World

Mm-HM. That's like almost exactly not at all what Theater World is like.
This is a life post. Which means I won't be blabbing about my book for a change! How cool is THAT. But if you are not a real-life friend you should probably go now, because chances are you'll be bored to tears by all those lines and lines of writing below, and I don't want you to cry over something so trivial as a blog post.

Ok? :) Are you gone? All right, then.

Last week was almost entirely filled up with long, lonnnnng rehearsals for a big ol' theater production for which our class had written the incidental music. I blogged about it way back when, and these rehearsals were just the final stage of that. I might have proper video clips to show you in, like, half-a-year when the TV thing airs, but until then all I can do is type up a re-cap.

So, rehearsals! Theater rehearsals for composers basically mean lots of sitting around and watching, and occasionally scuttling up to the orchestra pit and being all like, "Um, excuthe me. Violins? Violins, hello! *waves at violins* Could you guys play legato? Like it says? In the notes? That would be really nice." *scuttles away again*

And since the violins were ignoring you pointedly, the director will rap his baton on the lectern-thingy and repeat the directions LOUDLY.

I never used to get why orchestra directors even existed (I know, really, Stefan?) but HELLO. They're to keep the musicians in LINE. The violins are always ignoring things pointedly. And the brass never seem to know doodly-squat until five minutes before the final performance.

(Ok, that was mean... It was a great orchestra. More likely composers don't know doodly-squat about writing for brass. But there were a disturbing number of incidents were the string-section started tittering at all the wrong notes coming from the brass section. Only during the rehearsals, mind you. Brass got their stuff to-GETHER for the premier.)

Anyway. Rehearsals are long and educational. Stage-lights are scorching. Stage-fog is freezing. Group bows are actually hard. Educational.

I don't want to say much about the show itself. It was good. Under the circumstances. The direction was super, the technical stuff was super. The plot... needed some ruthless whittling and killing of darlings. I thought. It ran about a half-hour too long and there were three or four scenes where the entire story just stopped so that Snakes or Squirrels or Foxes could run around and sing a song, or dance to elaborate lighting. There was one point where a whole ARMY of five-year-olds in fluffy yellow chicklet costumes waddled on-stage to sing a choir piece, just so that the whole audience could go, "d'awwwwwwwww."

Ok, that part was good, but snakes? Nobody even likes snakes.

And then it was premier day! Theater was sold-out (All 822 seats. We counted. Yeah. Toldja the rehearsals were long...) and the audience was so great. They laughed at the right parts, clapped at the right scenes, and at the end they just clapped and screamed and clapped some more, so very loud and long. Everyone who worked on the show went up row after row, then, and the composers were the last row to go up, so we were at the front, bowing and gasping and smiling our vain little faces off.

Disaster was narrowly averted when the curtain, which was coming down for an encore, snagged on a spotlight. It was a frighteningly large spotlight. It started wobbling all over the place, and all the hundreds of people on-stage were looking up like, "Ooh, thaz kinda freaky," when we should have been more like, "Ooh, thaz gonna smash someone flat."

It could have, especially since the curtain went up and down two more times, and each time the spotlight snagged and wobbled, and the performers all stared, and the Squirrels laughed and pointed, and the technical people freaked out a little bit.

But we survived. And eventually the audience stopped clapping and everybody on-stage started running around and hugging everybody else. There's this amazing energy back-stage after a good premier. The lights are on, the audience is leaving, but behind the curtain there's some crazy pandemonium going on. The director is kind of sobbing in a corner, and the composers are all like "Oh! Oh! The applause!" *revels* and nobody knows anybody else really, but everyone's smiling and hugging, and it's just a whole lot of fun. 

It's hard to explain. At any rate, I was on a buzz for the rest of the evening, and we went home and ate ice cream, and I think that was one of those days I'll be remembering for a long time to come.


  1. I can only imagine that hearing a group of mostly competent musicians play music that you imagined up in your own brain is a very special moment indeed that you will most surely remember until you die. You belong to a select group who is privileged to experience that. Heartiest congratulations!!

  2. They were actually super competent, I was just complaining. About details. And legatos. And thanks! :)

  3. Hhahahahah. That picture. XDDD The Big Four should have dressed like that last termmm! WHERE WERE YOUR KNEE-BREECHES, STEFAN.

    1. Where were your uncomfortable-looking frocks and button-up shoes, Bri? xD But no, I agree, we totally should have. We should also have drunk copious amounts of champagne and draped ourselves artfully over everything the way those people are doing. THAT would have made for a grrrreat last term.