So after many many weeks rehearsing at Hope Community Church (much thanks to everyone there) and an intensive weekend in a cold but spacious garage, we're finally in our first venue, Common Ground Theatre in Durham.
You'd think move in would be trivial for a show light ours. Just bring the three chairs in the door, high five and then go to the bar. But even for a light show with very few technical requirements it was four and a half hours of work. Jeff Alguire was a huge help for the first part of our move in. He knows the space so well his assistance advice and power tools made the entire process much less painless than it would have been otherwise. We were able to rearrange the space to accommodate about 54 seats in the round (the seats surround the stage in the center). When we finished it actually felt pretty good. It felt like a performance space. Then Todd, our lighting designer worked his magic. Even a simple plan is challenging to execute in the round. You want to shine the lights on the actors, but not into people's eyes. On a standard proscenium stage that's not too challenging, you point the light at the actors not the audience. But for a show in the round, the audience is quite often sitting right behind the actors. Not an easy task. Todd, with our assistance (I held the ladder! Also I stood there and let light hit me) made it work.
Then after dinner, we ran the show. We finished the show and notes at 11PM. It was not our smoothest run, but it felt great to be in our actual performance space, imagining faces in the empty chairs.
Ten hours of work a the theatre was a great way to start the New Year. Until Sunday, this is the space. This is our space. Three actors, three chairs, and a story.