People who have experience in creating theater are very fond of saying things along the lines of “tech week is the worst”, “tech week? You mean hell week!”, “I would rather abandon my family and live alone in a hole than sit through another minute of this tech rehearsal”, etc. I’m not trying to be the annoyingly overenthusiastic person that I am or anything, but to be perfectly honest, I think tech week is really fun. I even—dare I say it?—look forward to tech week.
I understand that tech week can mean late hours, a lot of waiting around, and various sources of stress due to feeling unprepared in any number of capacities. Certainly no one looks forward to any of these. But tech week also has a way of forcing people to bond in profound, special ways. After all, nothing brings people together like shared struggle.
Our tech week was in some ways a breeze and in other ways a source of great consternation. Because it is a technically light show, our Sunday rehearsal lacked the agonizing stop-every-three-seconds phenomenon that can so frustrate everyone involved. The Monday dress rehearsal was the first with costumes, and the addition of that element went off without a hitch.
Tuesday and Wednesday, however, were slightly more stressful. The close proximity of our Thursday opening toThe Winter’s Tale’s Sunday closing confined the time for set building and meant that we lost our Tuesday dress rehearsal because the stage was still drying. The actors still ran through the show, but without any costumes, set, lights, or sound, we were somewhat disadvantaged. Even worse, when we showed up for final dress on Wednesday, someone had kicked out the banisters on our staircase. The set crew, already working tirelessly to finish in time for opening, now had even more work before them.
These hiccups are all par for the course at Actors’ Theatre because of the nature of the performance venue and season schedule. And although they were undeniably unpleasant setbacks, I maintain that the singular discomforts of tech week are more than worth it. Part of the joy of working on a play is the astounding rate at which meaningful relationships are formed. There is no time like tech week for getting to know someone, and getting to know interesting people is always worthwhile.