Teching Bad Dates


This weekend we “teched” for the upcoming production of  Bad Dates at the American Theatre.  Now for those of you who don’t know what that means, it’s part of the rehearsal process when the lights, sound, scenery and costumes are added to the long rehearsal process.  Typically this can be a very long and grueling process with many stops and starts and going over the same sections of the show many times until all the elements are just right.  But by comparison, this weekend was a breeze.  (It helped that actress Beth Curley is the only actor in the show and she’s a trooper.) We moved into the American Theatre on on Friday morning last week and by Saturday evening’s first rehearsal onstage, we ‘d constructed a great replica of a bedroom in a New York City apartment.  All the lights have been focused and the light cues written, the sound cues were ready complete with “teeny-bopper” music blaring from offstage in the direction of the daughter’s bedroom.  Now don’t get me wrong, much preplanning has gone into this show in order for this process to go so smoothly.  We have spent weeks planning and building the set, gathering the furniture and the shoes.  Boy, have we been gathering shoes.  The woman in this show is supposed to have over 600 pairs of shoes, so we have been scouring the thrift stores and calling in favors from our friends and family to get enough shoes and shoe boxes to fill the stage.  In addition to the plethora of shoes, we have also been “counter-feiting” hundreds of thousands of dollars of fake money and assembling a collection of fashion magazines and beauty products for the show.  Now it is Monday afternoon, we have our first audience on Wednesday evening.  Other than the distractions of hearing the first 8 counts of every sound cue over and over again, as Mike works to perfect the preshow music, this afternoon has been rather relaxing filled with arranging the last 50 or so pairs of shoes around the set and putting finishing touches on the props.  Too bad all the shows can’t all be this much fun during the tech process.

Stefanie Christensen, Set Designer for Bad Dates