Naomi is one of two Hopbackstage bloggers who, as cast members of the Dartmouth Theater Department production of Urinetown, are “embedded” in the show. Look for their updates as the cast and crew build the show in the coming weeks!
From the moment the cast list is posted, the countdown begins for opening night. For this winter’s Theater Department production of Urinetown, that countdown is six weeks. There is a lot of ground to cover, in very little time, so organization is crucial. Urinetown opens February 17, and as I write this, on January 25, we are about half way through our time.
The first step following auditions for a play is ordinarily a readthrough. However, when producing a musical, the cast first has to learn the musical numbers. Therefore, Week One of six was used to cover all of the music in the show. Only then could we have our first readthrough—with five weeks left.
Last night, almost at the halfway mark in our countdown, we did a “stumble through” of Act One—performing the dialogue, songs, choreography and blocking as best we could at that point. It was exhilarating to perform the scenes in order and feel how far we have come in just over a week since we began learning the choreography. Things are coming together, and I’ve seen a lot of character development and actor work in the week we had since our first readthrough.
The pace only picks up from here. We will continue to stage Act Two in a rehearsal space, as our scene shop works diligently to build our set. In the next week, our lighting technicians will hang and focus the lights for the show.
We have a little more than two weeks before we need to be done staging and be ready to add light and sound cues to our show. It’s a crazy ride, and the cast and crew of Urinetown are hard at work to make our deadline.