One of the interesting things about doing Christmas shows at Wayside Theatre is the fact that they are double-cast. That gives us the unique opportunity to watch our role being performed by someone else.
This is not a completely unusual experience, as anyone who has ever understudied a role will tell you. The main difference? Understudies are asked to reproduce a character that someone else has already created. With the Christmas show, we are creating our own unique characters. The words are the same, but the characters become quite different from each other.
We get half as much active rehearsal time, but we do have the opportunity to learn from the other actor. I may have…uh…”borrowed” a few things from my double.
Another advantage to watching is being able to see the big picture. You learn a great deal about the pace and the energy of the show when you can watch the whole banana.
One other thing about the view from outside. A few days ago when we had our first dress rehearsal, our director, Warner, spoke to us afterward and seemed genuinely moved by the show and by our progress. He’s not one to blow smoke about things like this. Then a few days later our magnificent photographer, John Westervelt, came in to take pictures of another rehearsal. He took time at the end to tell us how much he enjoyed the show. I have never heard him do that before.
I think we have a very special show here. Today, we do two previews and see if the audience agrees.