Guest post – Megan Storti of Metropolis’ A Christmas Carol cast
November 28, 2011 § 1 Comment
Hello everyone! I wrote a new (short) version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” after coming home from our last Preview show. There are some terms in here that you might not know, but I made a note of them at the bottom of the poem. Some words seem very simple, like “house” and “black,” but check the bottom of the posting.. you might learn something new!
TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE OPENING!
‘Twas the night before opening, and all through the house*
The actors were humming*, their vocal cords to rouse.
The curtains were hung in the rafters* with care
For if one came too loose, no show could be there!
The audience was nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of mean old Scrooge danced in their heads.
And Holly* in her headset and the crew in their black*
Reset* the stage props so that we could go back.*
When up in the Green Room* there arose such a clatter
A voice yelled out “HOLD”* to see what was the matter.
Nothing was wrong though we heard such a crash;
It was simply an actress caught up in her sash.
When we were all done the crew cleaned up the snow:
The magic was soap bubbles* floating down low.
Then out of the dressing rooms the cast did appear;
We were tired but happy and full of good cheer.
We sat in our chairs and took all of our notes*
We danced and we sang* lovely songs from our throats.
No step went un-noted, no entrance was wasted,
This bittersweet rehearsal was the last to be tasted.
Tomorrow we’ll come in a great buzzing bunch
Our faces with laughter all crinkled and scrunched.
We’ll sing out our songs and when we are all done
You’ll know when you hear, “God bless us… everyone!”
*house – A term used in theatre to denote audience or the seating area for the audience. May be used in blocking notes, such as, “Actor enters from HOUSE right.”
*humming – Often you’ll hear actors humming or doing other sorts of vocal warm-ups to protect their voices before singing. They sound very silly!
*rafters – Referring to the area directly above the stage, which is technically called the fly loft.
*Holly – Our WONDERFUL Stage Manager. She is in charge of calling all of the cues for the show, which means she tells our crew when to turn on and off lights, play sound cues, or do scene changes. She is in charge of everything and everyone, except the director, Brad… but sometimes she even tells him what to do!
*black – Traditionally, crew members wear all black clothes to blend in with the black curtains or to be able to move about in the dark without being seen.
*reset – Resetting props and scenery is important when we are rehearsing. The crew knows exactly where everything goes on stage, so it is where the actors need it to be when they do a scene.
*go back – This happens a lot in rehearsals, especially during Tech Week. We have to run transitions over and over to make sure people are picking up the right chair, or that the lighting cues happen on time.
*Green Room – The Green Room is an area where the actors can relax before going on stage. Our Green Room has a refrigerator, couch, table, chairs, coffee pot and tea kettle in it, among other things. Don’t be jealous… we are hardly ever there! There is so much to do on stage!
*hold – When someone is having a problem either on stage or in the wings during a rehearsal, you yell “HOLD” to stop the action. Sometimes this is just to fix a technical element, but it is important to know that you can yell this word during a performance if someone is hurt and needs help.
*soap bubbles – The beautiful and very real looking snow you see falling during the show is made from a soap bubble machine up in the fly loft. There are lots of different ways to make a snow effect, but this is one of the coolest I have ever seen.
*notes – The director, music director, choreographer, stage manager and crew head take notes during rehearsals and preview shows. This is our time to figure out where we need help or need to make a change. Notes are extremely important during preview. Brad even takes notes on how the audience reacts, so those of you who are here for Preview shows are a big help!
*danced and sang – After a Preview show is over, we go back and run some problem areas. Tonight, we had to work on the musical chairs scene! It was a lot of fun.
I hope you learned something new from this poem! We can’t wait to share our show with you. Merry Christmas!