Tonight was the rehearsal where the cast had to do the scenes for the first time without scripts. I was looking forward to seeing how far along everyone was. I expected everyone to be close, but I certainly knew there would be a few mistakes. The idea was that everyone would have made their best effort to try to learn the scenes. Much to my delight, everyone that I saw did make that effort and they even exceeded my expectations. Unfortunately, one of the cast members was unexpectedly missing. He got stuck at work and couldn't get away.
We started rehearsal by working on the opening scene without our missing cast member because he called me and said that he would be a little late. We ran through it for Marty's benefit since he hadn't yet seen how we blocked it. It went pretty well and we focused on a few particulars of the dance. I was impressed at how well everyone was moving in the dance (it's not easy, by the way) and everyone was pretty together. By the time the show rolls around, I think it will be pretty tight.
We then moved on to running the scenes that the missing cast member wasn't in, which meant that Marty and Jason got to do their tongue-twister scene. This is one of the most challenging scenes to memorize, but these guys had it down. They missed a few words and lines here and there, but they nailed it for the most part. Since this was their first time off-book, I was very impressed and have no worries that they will have this cold by the time the show rolls around. They also ran their other two person scene which is a little more on the improvised side and really played it very well and added a lot to it. This was the scene that we had completely changed from a series of short blackouts to a full-on scene. Since it is partially improvised, I expect it to evolve even more as they perform it.
I had Marty get up and run his two solo scenes and he nailed them. He brought a really great character to his blackout and took his time with the monologue and had some great ideas to make the performance of it even better. I re-wrote his monologue after hearing it in the read through and trimmed it down and now he's done a great job of making it understandable and easy for the audience to follow. His take on this monologue gave us all some ideas for how the rest of the cast can read their monologues to make them a little more performance-y.
I jumped in and read the parts I will be playing in the show on June 21st (one of the cast members will be away) even though I wasn't off-book like the rest of the cast. Had I planned to do that, I would have had my lines memorized but I didn't think it would be necessary. Those scenes were fun to do even though it feels a little weird to perform in the sketches you have written.
I think we managed to be productive even though we were missing a cast member. I continue to be impressed with the performances that this group keeps putting out there. There's no question that they play a large part in taking Jerkology from a funny show to a really funny show.
Now we just need everyone to show up.