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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

April 4, 2008

Greater Tuna Final Dress/Previews

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 7:04 pm

Before a show “officially” opens in the theatre we have a final dress rehearsal (sometimes with a small invited audience)  and in the case of  Greater Tuna a  near sellout pay-what-you-will preview.     These performances allow us to fine tune the show, adjust timing for lights and sound and for the actors to adjust their comic timing.   In the old days Broadway shows would go out of town for weeks of tryouts on the road in other cities before  landing in New York for their Broadway openings.  The Marx Brothers even created stage versions of their film scripts that they took on the road to fine-tune the laughs in vaudeville houses before they began filming.  They said this helped them perfect their timing and figure out where the audience would laugh since they had no audience on their sound stages.For Charleston Stage and most regional professional theatres we can’t afford to take a show on the road so we have previews  to help us put the finishing touches on a show.  This is a very important part of the process for adding the  audience is almost like introducing another actor into the play.  The actors need time to get used to this new partner and to gage audience reactions and laughs.  (And where  they don’t laugh too!)Though you may not realize it your reactions as an audience member create much of the magic in live theatre.  This is why live theatre is so different that seeing a film or TV show.  No matter what you do at the movies or at home watching TV that actor up on the screen isn’t  going to be affected.   But in the theatre it’s just the opposite,  your enthusiasm and response actually fuel  and guide an actor’s performance.   For Greater Tuna, preview audiences have really been playing their part wonderfully, laughing uproariously and adding extra energy to every performance.   You can play your part as well, come join in the fun!Greater Tuna opens tonight, Friday April 4, 2008 at 8PM at the American Theater. tuna-dress-reh-photos12.jpg  Professional actors Brian Bogstad (right)  as Vera Carp and Victor Clark (left) as Pearl Burris attending the funeral of Judge Buchner in a scene from Great Tuna.
  

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