A Work in Progress: The Wedding Singer

A Work in Progress: The Wedding Singer

We’re basically at the half-way point in the rehearsal process for The Wedding Singer. It has been fun but challenging so far. With a cast of 36 energetic, enthusiastic actors, the artistic staff are always kept on their toes. We’ve made good progress so far — I’m pretty sure all the music has been learned; the majority of the dance numbers are choreographed; and with the exception of “Saturday Night in the City” (the Act 1 finale), the entirety of Act 1 is blocked and choreographed. It’s definitely still rough, but we have 40 hours of rehearsal left to perfect and polish.

That being said, 40 hours is not a lot of time, rehearsal-wise. We still have to add costumes and props, as well as working transitions and really cementing all the details. We also need to review, review, review. There’s a lot that goes into a musical! And The Wedding Singer is deceptively difficult — on the outside it seems like a cheesy little 80’s pop musical, but when you dig deeper, there are thick harmonies, a TON of dance numbers, a lot of strong emotions, and some crazy intricate scene transitions.

This is probably one of the biggest shows I’ve ever directed, and to be honest, it hasn’t always been sunshine and roses. Let’s get real and lay it out on the line, shall we?

  • I’ve been struggling with balancing the wants and needs of the cast (and myself!) with the needs of the show. I want the actors to be busy and to feel important. Generally speaking, I try to have as many full-cast numbers as possible. But with a cast this size, and the Spriet Family Theatre being the size it is, it just isn’t always possible. And that’s really weird/difficult for me.
  • My cast is a chatty bunch. They talk a lot. A LOT. And it’s hard to be heard over 36 voices all speaking at once. I love each and every one of my actors individually. As a group… it’s challenging.
  • I hope that my actors are enjoying the process. Sometimes I’m not sure.
  • How hard do you push an actor? How can you tell if he/she is phoning it in versus they are trying hard but just aren’t getting it? Or, they’ve reached their top level of comprehension and they just can’t do any more? How much review is needed?
  • I sometimes feel like a big phony… like I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m just making things up as I go along. I know I’m experienced (this is my ninth show at OKTC, ya know) but sometimes my brain just gets to me.

I want so badly for this show to be amazing. I’ve been putting so much into it… I just hope it shows.

/end transmission. 😛

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