CriticalDance Forum

tech rehearsals
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Author:  Mereminne [ Wed Dec 04, 2002 6:43 pm ]
Post subject:  tech rehearsals

I've learned a little about this from a previous thread -- one post in particular was very helpful, I think maybe it was BabsLight's post? Unfortunately sometimes my computer doesn't show a link to the 2nd page of the Backstage forum, & I can't access that thread right now to find out for sure....

I'm trying to estimate how much tech time my company will need for a show with about 1 hour 10 mins' worth of material. The longest dance is 13 mins, 2 are 8 mins, 1 is 10 mins, 1 is 11:30, and then we have a suite of 5 short dances ranging from 2 mins to 4 & 1/2 mins.

Almost all of these are pieces I've teched before, although not with the kind of lighting setup we will have for this show, which will offer more possibilities. I usually tend to keep the lighting fairly simple, but maybe there would be some new ideas to incorporate. I will be pre-planning each piece with the lighting designer before going into the tech rehearsal.

My question is, do you think it would be crazy to try to tech this show in 6 hours? I do tend to be fairly quick & decisive about techs.

Otherwise, we might have to rent the theater for an extra day in order to get 3 shows in. It will be our debut NYC season and I thought we should try to do 3 shows -- and I'm not even sure whether adding a day is an option. I am thinking to do the tech on Thursday & have our first show be that night (maybe they will let us into the theater the day before to do a spacing rehearsal, I'm hoping) so that we could have shows Thurs, Fri & Sat nights instead of having to do a matinee & eve show on Saturday.

This is my first time producing a full evening length concert, so I'd really appreciate any feedback!

Author:  LMCtech [ Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tech rehearsals

I think that 6 hrs. of tech time for 1+hr of material is not unreasonable, especially if you do a lot of planning with the lighting designer beforehand and the lighting crew isn't hanging and focusing while you are trying to tech the piece (as I ran into at a dress rehearsal the other night). Pre-planning is essential to staying on schedule.

Anyone else?

Author:  mehunt [ Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tech rehearsals

Hmmm, well, six hours might be enough, although it will be really dependent on who you're working with I would think.

It would mean that you'd only have an hour for each piece (if I counted your list correctly, and if things are simple, and everything is well-prepared, that could work. I do myself feel that things never seem to work the way I want them to though. If it were me, I'd probably err on the side of caution and take the extra day for both lighting and spacing. It's always nice for the dancers to have time to really settle into the stage too.

salzberg may be the best person to answer this question though.

Author:  Mereminne [ Thu Dec 05, 2002 4:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tech rehearsals

Thanks so much LMCtech & mehunt, it's good to know that it COULD be doable...

I found out today that I might be able to get the theater for a spacing rehearsal (without tech crew) for 5 hours on the previous day, at a much lower rate than renting it with tech crew. Then the next day the 6 hours could hopefully be a faster tech & we would have our first performance that night. I also agree about having the dancers in the space more days so they can settle in.

And I agree that things usually don't go quite the way you plan them. I don't know yet how long it could take the crew to get set up, hang the lights, etc. I will have to speak more about this with the theater director. I don't know if I can afford to book an entire extra day complete with tech crew, but she said it's available right now if I want it. I certainly don't want us to have inadequate preparation, so I'll have to think more about this. It would cost about $1000 more to have a full extra day than it would cost to have just 5 extra spacing hours.

Author:  salzberg [ Sun Dec 08, 2002 6:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tech rehearsals

I would consider 6 hours for such a show to be luxurious (but then, I tech fast -- I, like many designers, usually walk in with the cues already recorded on a disk; then it's just a matter of refining them).

The key is to prepare a detailed schedule that might look something like this:

10AM-10:50AM: Appalachian Spring
11AM-11:50AM: Concerto Barocco
12M-12:50PM: Swan Lake

Etc., etc.

Notice that I've left 10 minutes to change over from one dance to the next; this will be used for changing colors in shinbusters and headhighs and for changing sets and props (if you have lots of sets and props, you need to allow more time).

The key is to absolutely make sure that you stick to the schedule. One way to do this is to periodically remind the designer of how much time is left (if you have a separate stage manager, this could be her/his job). For example, at 10:30, you might say, "We have 20 minutes left," and then give reminders every 10 minutes or so.

You ask really good questions, by the way.

<small>[ 12-08-2002, 19:33: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

Author:  Mereminne [ Sun Dec 08, 2002 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tech rehearsals

Thanks again Salzberg for the good information. It seems to me that if it's just a matter of setting the sound/lights (after having pre-planned them) we should have enough time with a 6 hours' tech, as long as I get to do a spacing rehearsal with the dancers the previous day. I am just not used to predicting how long it takes to switch gels & all the technical stuff, which (in my somewhat limited experience) seems to vary greatly from theater to theater -- & I suppose depends on how quickly the crew can do it.

The theater director was concerned 6 hours wouldn't be enough (they usually do 10) so I hope to talk with her again this week; there could be factors I'm not aware of. I don't know if we could walk in with a disk but hopefully we could. We really don't have sets or props so far. So far I have been relying on costumes & lighting (&, hopefully, dancing!) in creating the atmosphere & I kind of like the simplicity of that. I love costumes!

You ask really good questions, by the way.[/QB]
Thank you! :) I tend to be kind of obsessive about these things but it often seems to help the result...

Author:  salzberg [ Mon Dec 09, 2002 1:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: tech rehearsals

You have an advantage over many choreographers in that you seem to already understand that the lighting design is not created in the technical rehearsal, it's only realized there.

The design is created in the mind of the designer, after consultation with the choreographer, well before the show moves into the theater.

<small>[ 12-09-2002, 18:50: Message edited by: salzberg ]</small>

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