With The Ladykillers, tech is very thorough, to say the least. There are so many tricks to the set and the props that require co-ordination from so many different people. One tech notes session was devoted entirely to a sequence that is a minute long at most. It really speaks to that phrase that “every minute on stage requires an hour of rehearsal,” except it’s “one 40 second segment on stage requires a 4 hour tech call.” But as the sequence starts to tighten up, it’s satisfying.
I notice during an earlier tech work-through that when some lighting cues are called, there’s no difference on stage. I learn that’s because in planning his cues, Kevin leaves blanks because he knows “there’s a cue here, I’m just not sure what it is yet,” and it’s good to give the stage manager something to get used to calling rather than nothing at all. When I go into the levels all for Sex, I notice that Bonnie Beecher does a similar thing. She creates the bigger, general looks for a scene and then adds more during the work-throughs when the actors are there. That’s definitely something to keep in mind for when I’m designing on my own later.
When I designed for our 456 class’s production of Sunday On The Rocks, I went through and filled in every cue. Well, when it came to tech run and I received notes to add more light, it was harder for me to work around what I had already built and harder for me to part with an idea I had committed to.
I’m really glad I get to see how another lighting designer works, especially with another director. The rapport that Bonnie has with Sex director Peter Hinton is quite different than what I’ve seen between Kevin and Glynis Leyshon (Brigadoon) to Kevin and Tim Carroll (The Ladykillers). It can be easy to get used to the one way I’m used to seeing interactions so it’s good to know there are many different approaches to doing the same thing.
Sex tech is similar to that of The Ladykillers as there is a lot of co-ordinating needed. Where The Ladykillers needs a lot of tech to choreograph technical elements in the house, Sex needs a lot of time to choreograph the actors for transitions (done by movement director Alexis Milligan). The set changes so much and it’s almost all done by the actors – at least, from what I’ve seen so far. I have yet to see the show in full, so I’m looking forward to seeing it run all the way through.