Saturday, 10 September 2016

Sky’s Musical Corner – CHESS The Rehearsals

Rehearsals for CHESS started at the beginning of March with a big kick-off weekend. It was great to see the whole cast and get to know the new members. On the first day there was just the big choir there and we did all the big numbers: Merano, Endgame, Hymn.
On the Sunday the principals were there as well and we did smaller numbers like Story of Chess or Merchandisers.

After that we continued having rehearsals every Sunday and Wednesday, so twice a week until the summer break. We were told to be off book at the beginning of June and for Story of Chess even before that.

In the beginning it was important to get to know the music and the lyrics. Of course we also looked at the dynamics. Singing the songs a lot (also at home) really helps me to memorize the lyrics. I was able to sing them off by heart at the beginning of May. Some other took a bit more time.

Mid May we started rehearsing the movements for Story of Chess. It tells the development of the game and we are chess figures in the song. This means we move around on a Chess board. The board will be made by visual effects, so rehearsing it is pretty difficult. We don’t have a Chess board, so we just marked the edges. I learned it pretty quickly, but I’m sure it will be a challenge again to to it on the visual Chess board. The men struggled a bit more with the choreography. By mid June we pretty much had it together, that’s what I think though, I have all the other behind me in the song ;).

With the other songs we started acting and moving in June and that took a long time, because it included the whole cast. Some people are just not made to move and they asked the weirdest questions.

At the end of June we did a run through of both the first and the second act. It was fab to finally see all the scenes in between as well.

Then it was time for the summer break. After the summer break the busy time started. We still rehearsed Wednesdays and Sundays, but sometimes the whole day. I was really excited when we finally started rehearsing in the actual venue. That’s really important, to get a feel of the stage and the distances. In the last few weeks before the performances the run-throughs are a vital thing. Finally putting the show together and getting used to all the scenes changes and transitions.

Another important step is finally rehearsing with orchestra. The music is different live and it’s essential to get the cues from our conductor. The music also helps with the transitions between the scenes. How much time do I actually have to get changed?! Our premiere is in 6 days (September 16) and we’ll see the orchestra tomorrow for the first time. On Sunday the actual get in week starts. That means a rehearsal every single day in the week before the performances. First getting used to the stage, the orchestra, the props and the visual effects, but then also doing tech rehearsals with lights and dress rehearsals with the costumes. I will put up a separate post on the get in week, so stay tuned!

You can find some rehearsal photos here:

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