Tibbits’ summer actors and techies are hired from all over the country and assembled into one large company. Some people are only here for one or two shows, but most of the technicians and quite a few actors are hired for the entire season.
What does that season look like from the perspective of a performer? If you’ve ever been in a community theatre show or educational theatre (come on, think back to your high school days of rehearsals…), you’ve probably had 12-16 weeks to put together a show.
But what if you only had 11 days? Then you would know the pressure on this group of professionals! That’s right—they only have 11 days to rehearse, learn the music and lines, hang and focus lights, build the set, take measurements and create costumes… And of those 11 days, only 4 of them are actually on the stage with the set pieces.
Enter another piece to the puzzle: The focus isn’t just on one show. Some of these actors are rehearsing for (or presenting) several shows at once.
Take Caroline, for example. Here’s a rundown of her daily schedule, at least on a Friday Popcorn Theatre day (but if it weren’t a popcorn show in the morning, she would likely be in rehearsal for the mainstage show!)
<<<Typical Friday Schedule>>>
9:00am Call time (Must be at the theatre to begin getting ready for the show).
10:00am-11:45 Showtime! Caroline can be seen on stage as the dragon in The Last of the Dragons. After the show, she happily signs autographs and poses for pictures with little theatre-goers.
1:30-4:30pm Return to the theatre; rehearsal for Charlotte’s Web (she’s playing Fern in this show).
5:30pm Arrive back at the theatre. “Even though our call is only 1 hour before the show, I usually get here a lot earlier than that. I need extra time to get ready for this show since it’s really a heavy makeup show,” Caroline said.
6:30pm Official call time-but Caroline’s already checked in on the call board and well on her way to being ready for the show.
7:30-9:45pm SHOWTIME! Now, Caroline can be seen as one of the Apostles in Jesus Christ Superstar. “I love this show! It’s a very different interpretation of it and it’s so much fun to perform the rock, edgy style. It is very draining, but it goes so fast when you’re in it. We step on stage, and before you know it, Act I is over!”
10pm-midnight Sometimes the cast goes out after the show, but there’s more work to be done. Aside from currently performing in The Last of the Dragons and Jesus Christ Superstar and rehearsing for Charlotte’s Web, Caroline is ALSO getting ready to begin rehearsals for A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. That means she will spend the next hour or two learning her lines so she’s prepared when rehearsals start. By midnight, especially on or after a very exhausting 2-show day, Caroline is ready to hit the sack. She tries to get 8 hours of sleep a day, but that doesn’t always happen.