Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Peter Pan Rehearsal Process

The Peter Pan cast is now in town! Rehearsals started this past weekend and everyone is excited to get to Neverland!

The rehearsal process for any NCT show is pretty amazing, and Peter Pan is no exception. The out of town actors and local actors met yesterday (some for the first time) and the rehearsal process is now under way. For the next week, they will be in rehearsals from 2 pm to 10:30 pm at the NCT Studios in North Raleigh where they are working very hard to memorize lines, learn choreography, ensure they are hitting all the right notes and are working together to know where they are supposed to be at any point in time on the stage. None of the above are easy tasks individually, and to have to remember to do all of that and more (in such a short amount of time) is very impressive!

After the cast spends a week at the studios, they will move to Raleigh Memorial Auditorium. Tuesday, July 8th is designated for the flying rehearsal. ZFX, Inc. is one of the top flying companies in the world and is in charge of teaching Gail Bianchi (Peter Pan), Sarah Evelyn Langston (Wendy Darling), Mason Park (John Darling), Zachary Hylan (Michael Darling) and KK Fritsch (Jane Darling) how to fly. The rehearsal period will be about five hours and there they will learn how to fly with the help of a harness, a trained professional and of course, some fairy dust!

Following the flying rehearsal, the cast will come in on Wednesday, July 9th for a very long day of tech rehearsal. This is the first full day that the company is in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium and this rehearsal lasts from 12 pm to 12 am. This particular day the actors rehearse with full lights, sound, props and the orchestra for the first time and it makes for a long day because the respective designers are busy trying to get everything just perfect for the run of the show.

Dress rehearsal is the next step in the process and this is on Thursday, July 10th at 8 pm. This is the first time that the cast is in costume and wigs, and they perform in front of a small audience. There are usually some stopping points and we will cross our fingers that everything will go well for the first full run through! If not, that is what rehearsals are for, and is the perfect opportunity to fix anything before the show opens to the general public. Thursday is also a long day because they are in the theatre from 12 pm to 12 am.

Friday is a short rehearsal day - from 12 pm to 5 pm - and then they perform for a packed house for Student Preview Night, an education program NCT developed to give students and educators an opportunity to see a Broadway production at a discounted rate ($10 tickets!!).

So, to recap, the actors rehearse for only 7 days before they move into Raleigh Memorial Auditorium where they only have 3 full days of rehearsal before Student Preview Night. Of course, they could not do all that they do without the help of the production staff and crew who are working behind the scenes to make sure every note is heard, every light cue is met, all the props make it to their designated spot, every wig makes it on the actors’ heads and that they go on stage in their appropriate costume!

Not a small thing to accomplish in such a short amount of time! Bravo!

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