We had six weeks to practice the road show, seven scheduled practices. All tallied, we spent 14 hours practicing all together. That equates to about one hour of practice for every minute of the road show. Of course, we had other unscheduled practices with different small groups but only 7 practices that everyone was asked to attend.
Feb. 11 - Opening Exercises - 5 minutes
Work on It's a Hard Knock Life (Stage) and
Seize the Day(Multi-purpose room) - 25 minutes
Split up into groups - 30 minutes
50's dance -multi-purpose room (Rowes, Siscos)
Suffragettes - Primary room (Cynthia, Sarah)
Crossing the Delaware - Overflow (Tricia, Brian, Sam)
Main actors - stage (Frances)
Costumes (Kayla, Amanda)
Props (Aaron, Brendan, Bishop)
Nursery (Andrea, Taryn)
First Run through of the play - 30 minutes
We ran through the entire play the second practice. Each of the different numbers or scenes had practiced at least once but we had never practiced the finale. It took us at least half an hour to get through that first run through of the play. It was mostly about showing everyone where to be and giving them a vision of the entire play. It was exhausting but fun. The "It's a Hard Knock Life" seminary song and dance was the most put together at this point but you could see the rest of the road show coming together too. It was after this practice that we changed the starting time to 6:30. We just needed more time for everyone to practice.
Every week, yummy treats were provided for the youth by different members of the ward/church. Everyone loves a treat!
Feb 18 - Opening Exercises - 5 minutes
*All props the kids are dancing with should be at this rehearsal and all future rehearsals.
6:35 - We're all in this together - 30 minutes
7:05 - Work on It's a Hard Knock Life and Seize the Day - 25 minutes
7:30 - Split up into groups - 25 minutes
50's dance (stage) - Rowes, Siscos, Collinwoods
Suffragettes (overflow) - Cynthia and Sarah
Crossing the Delaware (multi-purpose room) - Tricia, Julie and Bishop
Main actors - (primary room) - Andrea and Alli
Props - (gym) - Aaron and Brendan
Costumes - (gym) - Kayla and Amanda
Lights/Music/Sound- (gym) - Sam, Dion, Peter
7:55 - Run through the play twice- 30 minutes
8:40 - Short meeting with Tricia, Cynthia, Amanda, Kayla (costumes), Aaron(sets), Sam(lighting and sound) and Bishop(overseer extraordinaire) to review what has been done and what needs to be done before next week.
This was our first practice that started at 6:30. I invited the kids to show up early and play basketball from 6:00 until 6:30. This meant that almost everyone was there and ready to go at 6:30. I knew it would be hard for some of the leaders to get here this early due to work and family schedules so I planned to start practicing the finale at the beginning. It needed the least amount of leader support. We gave the kids the words to the song and told them the basic idea of the dance. The kids would sneak into the back of the gym and stand quietly and wait until the end when everyone would say the last word of the play "Together" all together and then the music would start up. The kids would come down the center aisle with a partner and right at the front, they would switch sides and go down in front of the audience chairs and stop. We had a lot of collisions that first day. Crossing, one in front of another, is a lot harder than you might think. We ran through the entire finale that day but only worked on about half of the dance moves. It was a good start.
After the finale, we split up into groups and worked on the different scenes. Everyone had a place to be and something to be doing. The leaders and girls made the Suffragette signs and started on their "Votes for Women" sashes. We ended up changing the sashes from the ones they started that day but that's how a lot of things went. If we realized it wasn't working the way we had thought it might, we revised it and did it so it was working out right.
We were supposed to get through the entire road show twice but we only got through it once before we ran out of time. We once again had some marvelous treats and the youth went home happy.
6:30 - Opening Exercises - 5 minutes
6:35 - We're all in this together - 25 minutes - all adults should be helping with props and costumes in the gym
7:00 - Split up into groups - 25 minutes
50's dance (stage) - Trevor, Audrey 7:00 - 7:10 - stage
Crossing the Delaware (multi-purpose room) - Tricia, Brian and Bishop 7:10 - 7:20 practice on the stage
Suffragettes (overflow) - Cynthia and Sarah (those who are water and icebergs on stage from 7:10 - 7:20)
Main actors - (primary room) - Alli
Props - (gym) - Aaron, Brendan and Howie - What do we still need to make and get?
Costumes - (gym) - Kayla, Amanda and Andrea
Lights/Music/Sound- (gym) - Sam, Julie, Peter, Taryn
7:20 - Work on It's a Hard Knock Life (stage 7:20 - 7:30)
and Seize the Day (overflow then stage 7:30 - 7:40)
7:45 - Run through the play twice- 45 minutes
8:40 - Short meeting with Kayla (costumes), Aaron(sets), Sam(lighting and sound) and Bishop(overseer extraordinaire)
We once again started with basketball from 6-6:30. It helped get most of the kids there on time. This time, when we worked on the finale, we had all the kids sit down and practice the song until they pretty much knew the words and then we added the dance. This was a much better way to do it. I would definitely recommend learning the words and music before you teach the dance. Live and learn! They learned the basics of the finale by the end of the night and there were only a few collisions as we tried to have them crossover in the front.
All of the smaller groups met and most had an opportunity to practice on the stage that night. Some were definitely still struggling to figure out what to do and where to be. This night, we did manage to get through the play twice but we went overtime but I think it was worth it. (My apologies to all the parents who were waiting!) It was amazing how much better the second run through of the play was but it was a long way from fabulous yet.
We ended the night with yummy treats!
Mar. 4 - Rehearsal Schedule
*Everyone should have costumes and props for this day.
Opening Exercises - 5 minutes
6:35 - 6:50 - Practice singing We're all in this together
6:50 7:05 - Practice singing and dancing We're all in this together
7:05-7:15 - It's a Hard Knock Life (overflow)
Seize the Day (stage)
7:15 - 7:25 - Split up into groups -
50's dance - girls take family history pics
Suffragettes - (overflow) - run through twice and then send girls who are in Crossing the Delaware scene to the stage and the rest of the girls take family history pics
Crossing the Delaware (stage)
Main actors - (primary room with Alli Walker)
7:25-7:35 - put on costumes
7:35-8:30 - run through the play twice
8:35-8:50 - Short meeting with Bishop, Amanda, Sam, Aaron, Kayla, Sarah, Audrey and Cynthia
We had only three practices left and I was a little nervous. The finale was coming together and I liked how it looked but I was still trying to figure out how we were going to project the pictures onto the screen we were supposed to have on the stage. The pictures were going to be pictures that Karen took of her and James' adventures through time intermixed with pictures of all the kids doing family history work. I knew it might be tricky but I was still hoping we could figure out how to do it. We took a lot of pictures of the kids doing family history this night but we did not have time to take pictures of all the kids. This night was a little crazier than the rest because we were trying to do the pictures as well as practice and it was too much.
All the kids practiced in their smaller groups and then we came together and I told them the plan was for them to get their costumes on and run through the play twice. I had allotted 10 minutes for them to get changed. It took them at least 20 minutes. It was a bit frustrating but we finally got them all together, in costume and started the play. This was the first time they had ever had to change costumes so we were trying to figure out the best way to do that and if there was even time for every costume change. Each of the kids had at least one costume change and some of them had two or three. It kept everyone on their toes as the adults were the ones helping backstage to make sure everyone got the right costume on for the scene that was coming up, plus they were keeping track of all the props (and we had a lot of them!). We got through the play twice and by the end of the night, I think everyone had a much better idea of where to be and where their costumes and props needed to be. We once again went a little long as the getting dressed in their costumes took so long! I told them to come in their costumes for the next practice!
We ended the night again with yummy treats!
March 7 - Road Show Practice
This was our one Saturday practice and the only practice we had at the other facility. It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday in the Northwest and although most of us would have rather been enjoying the great outdoors, we would be performing one week from tonight and so we had to press forward. The first half hour was spent getting everyone in costume (a few did not come wearing their costume) and practicing the finale while we waited for the stage to be available. We also spent the first half hour figuring out where to put all the sets, props and costumes changes as the off stage area was entirely different than the other stage.
We ran through the play at least three times that day. The first time we were mostly figuring out where to be on the stage and the best way to get ourselves, the sets and the props on and off the stage. We were also figuring out the lights as they were configured differently on this stage. It took a bit of time but the kids were really beginning to get their cues and where they needed to be on the stage and what they had to do to get to their next spots. It was still a bit choppy and it took us awhile to get through it that first time. We practiced the play two more times (it might have been three, I just can't remember) and it got better each time and faster. There were only a few things we tweaked that day.
We ended the night with pizza, drinks, chips, cookies and licorice. Is there any better way to end a night when you are a teenager? I went home exhausted but happy!
It was after this rehearsal that I gave up the idea of projecting pictures of the kids doing family history work interspersed with pictures that Karen took of their adventures. It was just too much but I would have loved to make it work. Perhaps the next time I do this play!
Check back tomorrow for the last week of road show and the two different scripts!