Fresh Eyes on The Understudy, 4th Installment
Fresh Eyes checked in on The Understudy at the first preview performance this week – their last time as a group. They’ve observed its evolution from a reading around the table to a fully realized production, and watched how the layers of text, acting, staging, design and technology build up. On Tuesday night, the last layer – the audience! – was finally added.
First previews are always a little bit of a nail biter, especially comedies. There’s the nervous energy around whether things will go as planned: Will the phone ring on cue? Will the actors remember that new bit of staging? Will the [fill in the blank] happen exactly like it’s supposed to?!? And then there’s the audience’s response, which can really quicken the play’s pulse. Happily for all of us, The Understudy’s first preview went really well, and you can read our Fresh Eyes’ observations here.
I want to thank Bonnie Lee Keling, Katrin Kasper, Alan Scott Holley, and Trish Garner – our first Fresh Eyes! They each gave generously of their time, were careful and thoughtful observers, and they were patient, gracious guinea pigs as we figured out how this new program works. We don’t know of any other theatre that is inviting civilians into the process to share their observations, so we’re inventing it as we go. We’re fortunate to have had such a terrific group of folks this first time outs – and we hope you’re enjoying seeing The Understudy through Fresh Eyes!