Tony Award-winning playwright/Offender David Henry Hwang (M. BUTTERFLY) is in rehearsals for his new play KUNG FU, which has its World Premiere at the Signature Theatre in New York on February 24. This is the first of his weekly blog series giving our readers a glimpse into the rehearsal process for KUNG FU. Read previous entries here.
On Tuesday, January 28, we started technical rehearsals, or “Tech.” Mondays are usually days off in the theatre world, so our last day in the rehearsal room was Sunday the 26th. We did our third run-through of the show, with a small audience in attendance. Not only did the actors go from beginning to end without stopping, incorporating all the dances, but their performance was exhilarating, thrilling, and totally bad-ass. An incredible amount of work had been achieved: a new show, built virtually from scratch, all in just three and a half weeks. We were ready to move onto the stage.
Christopher Vo, Phoebe Strole, and Reed Luplau, in their new backstage robes at the start of Tech. Chris let me lift this from his FB page.
Of course, the fact that the run-thru felt triumphant doesn’t mean my job is done. On the contrary, immediately afterwards, I huddled with Leigh and dramaturg Oskar Eustis, who is generously taking time out from his day job as the Artistic Director of New York’s legendary Public Theatre. We decided to rearrange the order of scenes at the end of the show. So the actors showed up for Tech to be greeted by 23 new pages (of a 107 page script)!
Tech is intense. We add all the design elements to the show – sets, costumes, lights, music, projections, and many other components. The workdays are long –noon til midnight. The audience portion, or “house” of the theatre, looks like something out of Mission Control: dotted with tech tables, each designer hunkering over computers with his or her assistants, supervising different aspects of the production. Read more...