Friday, October 28, 2011

Fear: Shows 1 - 3

We've had three performances of Fear, which puts us a little less then halfway through the run. In a normal run, three performances would have taken us through the first weekend.  The shows went very well, if I do say so myself! Here's a look at the briefest of brief show summaries for each:

Tuesday, October 25: First the Eyes
The ghost of a Civil War general returns to a rural Maine B&B, possessing one of its unwitting guests, forcing him to kill until the General has enough power to regain human form. "First the eyes, then the thorns, then the blood, and then the soul."

Wednesday, October 26: The Queen Christina
The law firm of Rogers & Rogers charters the ship Queen Christina to find an island lighthouse owned by one of their recently deceased clients, but anyone who sets foot in the lighthouse is changed forever…

Thursday, October 27: Harold’s Door
A group of teens in the town of Littleton, MT sneak into the abandoned 1950s research facility and bomb shelter under the school playground to drink and make-out, but there’s a reason the facility was abandoned…

We've had quite a few interesting deaths so far involving such things as eye-gouging, castration, and being pulled through a portal into another dimension by demons. We have reports of audience members scaring their spouses by whispering "first the eyes" while trying to fall asleep. We've even had a few repeat audience members already!

The show runs through Halloween night.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Fear Rehearsals 6 and 7: Happiness and Texture

Rehearsal 6 came just a week after rehearsal 5 back in September. Rehearsal 6 was just two weeks after that and a few days into October. The scary thing is that rehearsal 6 was our last rehearsal as a complete cast. There will be a partial cast rehearsal in October while I'm out of town. Bryce will helm it and steer the cast through the final stages of the narration concept (that we're still working out). We've arrived at a stage that we often arrive at in our rehearsal process: we have all of the tools we need for the show, but we haven't actually used them all to build a show yet. To be more specific, we haven't done a run that made it into the second act yet. That will have to happen during rehearsal 8, especially since a key element of the narration layer can only be worked on in the context of the end of the show.

But we did learn some valuable lessons about the narration in rehearsal 6. We were focusing on the opening narration to start the show, and we kept having problems. Then we realized that the opening shouldn't painted a gloomy foreboding picture of our location, but should make it seem like the happiest, most wonderful place on Earth. For one thing, this will provide a nice contrast. For another, people know what show we're doing when they sit down. They're going to know that as wonderful and beautiful a place as we're describing is, there is a dark underbelly. Something bad is going to happen. We don't need to tell them that. They know that already. They'll already be building within them selves a sense of dread.

In rehearsal 6, we left the opening behind and began the delicate process of inserting the narration into the rest of the show. We only got as far as a few very interesting first halves (what was going to happen that winter at Hanover Farms?), but we learned that (so far at least) you really can't do too much narrating. It doesn't break from the reality. Rather, it heightens it. It brings more texture to the show and fosters the audience's imagination to really see what's happening.

We also learned that likable characters can be seriously flawed, or even... unlikeable. It seems like a paradox, but it's not. People are people. If they're real and complex, they're going to have likeable aspects and unlikeable ones. Playing characters in that way will hooked the audience even more into them. We care about them because we see ourselves in their faults and in their triumphs.

Tickets are on sale now! Remember, the show only runs for 1 week, 7 performances. Don't blink, or you'll miss it.