The Playgoer: Arts & Leisure watch: 9/4

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Arts & Leisure watch: 9/4

Not much theatre coverage today. The big Fall Season edition must be coming next week.

Meanwhile, what do you make of this statement in the opening of the Tina
Landau profile:

With Off Broadway rehearsal schedules excruciatingly short - just two months for "Miracle Brothers," before its opening this month at the Vineyard Theater...
That's "short"??? If the writer here, Susan Dominus (or her editors!) botherered to ask around what the norm was, she'd hear more like 3 weeks! Perhaps the total pre-production (design meetings, casting) has been given two months, but if Landau was given two whole months with the actors, no wonder she has so much time for her "exercises." A small point in the journalism world, perhaps, but an essential one if readers are to understand the obstacles professional theatre faces.

At least the article makes a point of giving credit where it's due when it comes to the "Viewpoints" (to NYU's Mary Overlie, not just to Anne Bogart, who popularized it).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

From first preview to opening night is still, in the non-profits, almost two months... 3 weeks of rehearsal, one week of tech, 3 weeks of previews... is 7 weeks. For a musical add a week and I guess technically it's "two months."

These shows would be better with 5 weeks of rehearsals and fewer previews. But theatres need the $$$.

John Branch said...

I just read that same Times article and had exactly the same response: two months is short? I've worked on nonprofit shows, and even a commercial musical, in two cities and never had two months of rehearsals. As a copy editor in my day job, I often struggle to persuade people to say what they mean. This is the same problem. Does the two months include pre-production? Previews? Both? Who knows?

By the way, the whole notion of previews is fishy to me. For shows I was really eager to see, I used to try getting in (via tickets or ushering) early in previews, for the more or less vain reason that I wanted to see it first if it turned out to be good. I've mostly given that up, because so many of the shows weren't ready to be seen.

The Playgoer said...

Yes, exactly, the question of whether previews counts as "rehearsals" is complicated, even though rehearsals proceed, even if on a more limited schedule....I still maintain that the way article says "three months of rehearsal" is awfully misleading.