We Must Move On

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on April 12, 2011

As Ryan and I were taking a fellow actor to the airport and picking up two new actors from the airport, we reflected on the comings and goings of actors to and from the Roxy. On the same day we said goodbye to several actors that were in Hamlet and Bea(u)tiful In The Extreme, we welcomed new ones to Clarksville as part of the Civil War cast. For those of us involved in the last show that are also a part of the next, these transitions are definitely felt. It is sad to see a show end and have to say goodbye to people, but it is also exciting to be starting a new show with new people. These “transitions” are felt most during strike. At strike, we take down the set, props, costumes, and everything else that was part of the last show and prepare for the next by putting up the new set, gathering props and costumes, and doing anything else to get the space ready for the upcoming show.

It can be such an abrupt transition – we take our bows from the last performance of one show, run downstairs to change our clothes, and then come upstairs to the stage as the set is being taken apart and we go into a whole different mode – preparing for the next show. On one hand, there is no “grieving period” for the show that just closed; on the other hand, it is such a magical moment to watch as in one night the Roxy stage goes from the flashy Ain’t Misbehavin’ arch and onstage dressing rooms, to the dark world of Hamlet with columns and curtains, and then to Bea(u)tiful In The Extreme, with stair and platform units, the props and costumes arranged all over it.

It is amazing what the Roxy does to create such specific worlds for each piece of theatre to inhabit, so the audience is transported to an exciting, new place with each production they see. We put together a whole production in less than two weeks, often with new actors working together. We learn music, choreography, blocking, dialects, develop characters and relationships, etc. – all while sets are built, lights are designed, the floors and walls are painted, drops are hung, costumes are altered, sound cues are put in, and so much more! It really is a great undertaking that all involved at the Roxy participate in – and it always comes together by opening night!

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