Hopefully these aren't too incriminating ;-)
Practice, practice, practice! The first 3 orchestra rehearsals for Oliver! were in the "black box theatre" at Lamar State College, but we've since been moved to our final resting place, an equipment storage room back stage.
This is my home for the next 2 weeks. As you can see, it isn't much for space. I'm against a wall with a body just next to me, which is not an ideal place for a horn player, but one can't do much better in a room like this. You can see the mic right in front of my chair (mine is the one with the french horn sitting in it) so hopefully I'm being picked up well, though they might not be using much of that one since there's a trumpet on my one side and trombone on the other.
Rehearsals really have gone well. There has been a plethora of changes to the parts — mostly cuts, with a fair share of repeats to fill gaps, set changes, and visual bits. All of this is to be expected and the results have yet to prove disastrous. Sunday was our first combine rehearsal with the cast and crew, after which we received compliments on progress compared to the same time in last year's production.
The most interesting and tricky part of all of this is how we stay with the cast in the songs and hit all of our song cues. We're just back stage and the garage door to our room will be mostly closed during the show, so little can be heard through the curtains, despite some of us having a view of parts of the stage. To know what's going on we have a speaker with input from all stage mics and our conductor watches a live monitor set on the floor. The system isn't perfect and the challenge becomes evident during loud sections when we see him leaning over to get an ear closer to the speaker. Eh, c'est la vie. Maybe he'll have it turned up for tonight's rehearsal.
I'll let you know if anything exciting happens. The production isn't huge, but if you'd like to attend, you can find performance dates on the Life section of my site, along with a link to show times.
Blessings and Shalom,
Update: Read The Port Arthur News' article introducing the production here.