By Patty Garvey
On September 2, we started off Portland Stage’s 2014-2015 season with the first rehearsal of Brighton Beach Memoirs. I’m the stage management intern for this show, which means that I’ll be tracking props, writing down entrances and exits, and being on book for the rehearsals. Once we get to tech and performances it will be my job to set all props in their starting places. This is especially important in this production since there is no masking. This means that the majority of the backstage area will be in view of the audience, as well as any actors waiting to go onstage for their scenes. During the show I’ll be placed up against the stage right proscenium wall, and I won’t be able to leave that spot without being seen. This will be an interesting challenge to make sure everything is exactly the same every night and that I’m alert for any of the actors that may need me “backstage”.
On Wednesday, we had the big meet and greet between the cast and the entire company, Myles (stage manager) and Sam (director) talked with the cast about the rehearsal process, the concept, and what to expect. After the initial fittings the two local girls who are double cast as the character Laurie joined the rehearsal.
Once the entire cast was in rehearsal, they read the play out loud in front of all of the interns and staff members. Hearing the play out loud for the first time really showed the comedy. Growing up as an only child, I don’t understand the relationship between siblings. Reading the arguments that take place between siblings to myself didn’t strike me as funny. From the read through, we all could tell that the production—and the rehearsal process—would be filled with a lot of laughter. Within the first day, the cast members were already bonded and seeming like a family.
I’m excited to start paperwork and to work with cast in the rehearsal room!