By Maureen Torsney-Weir, castmember of Sunday in the Park with George
Sunday in the Park with George – first day of rehearsal. It is a lot
like the first day of school. Same excitement, same jitters Where
do I sit? Will I do well? Did I forget something?
The first day of rehearsal at the Arden sometimes includes an evening read through/sing through of the show for board members,
design team, and other interested parties. The first show I did at
the Arden was The Baker’s Wife, and when I heard about this I was
terrified! We only had a few hours to learn music and now we were
going to sing in front of strangers! I hardly knew the music, had
just met my fellow cast members and didn’t know what was expected.
I was sure I was going to be fired. Well, I usually think I’m going
to be fired the first day, so that’s not that unusual…
I always arrive early – especially the first day. I like to get my
tea, warm up a little (or not), and start living in the rehearsal
space. We spent the first few hours of the day learning our parts
of the music. Our Dot and George, Krissy Fraelich and Jeff Coon had
started rehearsal the previous week on their parts, so we were able to concentrate on the group numbers in those precious few hours.
The Arden also provides a dinner that first night and as an extra
treat, the staff members baked tasty desserts. I needed some time
to myself to prepare so I went off to get some tea and look over my
notes, and then it’s 7pm and we’re off. Katya played the first
chords and I felt those tears in the back of my eyes. Sitting next
to Jeff, I could feel his intensity as George, and in the scenes
between George and Dot it felt intrusive to be so near. By the end
of the first act, those thrilling three “Sundays”, I looked up to see Eric’s beaming face, and knew we were off to a great start. We even
sang through numbers we hadn’t had time to get to in rehearsal.
They weren’t perfect, but it is the first day after all.
As I write this, it’s day 5 of rehearsal and it feels like we’ve
known each other forever. It’s a great cast of talented people, and
as a bonus – each and every one a generous and giving soul. Eric
Ebbenga is a wonderful music director and a gifted teacher. I love
working with Terry Nolen. This is our fifth show together and it’s
been a great gift. I trust him implicitly, and love the way he is
“putting it together”. The show is about the art of making art,
and that is what working with Terry is like. Bit by bit, he puts it
together. I can’t wait for tomorrow to see what’s going to emerge.