Rehearsal: An Actor's Blog, Day 8

A daily rehearsal blog from actor Paul Stetler, playing Edgar in The Lady from Dubuque.

I seem to have fallen behind in my blogging again. Sorry. These last two weeks we’ve been working very hard on staging the show and trying to find the right balance of tone and style. This is a difficult show in that it’s a true ensemble piece. Most plays consist of two or three person scenes and, as actors, we get used to taking our cues off our scene partners. But the first act of “Dubuque” is an extended scene between six characters and everyone is equally involved. We all need to learn exactly what the other five actors are doing and saying throughout the entire act. Everyone is a part of the action and, for it to work well, we have to be in complete sync with each other. There’s a sort of musicality to the dialogue. I can only imagine this is how musicians must feel when their individual instruments come together to make something fuller and richer than their particular component. When it works, it’s pretty amazing. (But, boy-oh-boy, when we get off rhythm, it can be pretty stinky.)

Tomorrow, we begin technical rehearsals. Which means we get to move out of the rehearsal room and onto the Bagley Wright Stage. The next few days, as we accustom ourselves to the stage, our designers will be focusing lights and adding texture and detail to the set, costumes and props.


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