On the Road With Laramie




Pictured above are Mark Berger, Kelli Simpkins, and Mercedes Herrero in technical rehearsal for the moment "Finding Matthew" in The Laramie Project. In the foreground is our tech table.

Before anyone decides they want to make a living in the theater, they ought to sit in on a weeklong tech rehearsal. Tech is hell. Anyone in the theater will tell you that. And if tech is hell, tech on The Laramie Project is the ninth circle.

You may spend hours standing around bored to death and then suddenly find yourself in a fight with one of your best friends in the cast for no particular reason, and no one can quite figure out what the fight is even about. Actors go hysterical with anxious hilarity, designers have meltdowns, directors try to bear it all for a while and then suddenly flip out and tell everyone to shut up.

The tech table is set up in the middle of the auditorium, just out of earshot. There sit both our directors, our stage manager, our lighting, set, costume, and sound designers and all their assistants. Cryptic whispers float through the darkness from the tech table.

Decisions are being made about the look and sound of the piece, while onstage we all stand in our places, waiting around and trying to pass the time as best we can while lights are focused on you or costumes are changed on you or sound is played under you.

Tags: Theater