Hello! I’m Sophie, a 3rd-Year Theatre student. One of the things I love the most about the structure of the course here at York is the way it builds to become more independent. It allows you more creative freedom as you progress and begin to specialise in your preferred areas. The Pre-1900s module in 3rd Year is one of the most anticipated parts of the course for prospective students. This ‘week in the life’ post will be sharing with you my experience in production week as one of the co-directors for ‘Tartuffe’. This isn’t a typical week; in fact, the circumstances have been quite unique. But I wanted to share my experience in one of the most significant weeks of my degree!
As well as being a co-director, at this point, due to unforeseeable circumstances, I also ended up becoming an understudy in the show – this impacted the way my week turned out! As part of this module, your group creates its own rehearsal schedule, and your roles impact the time you need to give, so my week may differ greatly from someone in another group/role.
- A 10am start – (a lie in compared to the 9am rehearsals we’ve had most days this term) for the cast to gather and warm up together.
- 10.30am – full run-through of the show from start to finish, followed by a quick coffee break at the Piazza Starbucks for everyone to unwind.
- 11.30am – director’s notes and feedback. Both myself and my co-director have a chance to give actors our notes on the run. We planned which scenes were the priority to rehearse for the rest of the day.
- 1-2pm – a quick little lunch break in the Ron Cooke Hub (and for me… yet another coffee!)
- 2-5pm – a series of smaller rehearsals on particular scenes. This involved workshopping things with cast members, working with directors and dramaturgs, and doing one-to-one sessions with actors as a director.
- 5pm onwards – home! I did a bit of research towards the assessment for my other module this term, and made some notes before logging off and watching a film with my housemates.
- The beginning of the day ran exactly the same as yesterday – warm-ups, run-through and notes!
- 2-5pm – did some one-to-one work with one of my scene partners on the staging of our scenes.
- 5.30pm onwards – I work part-time for YUSU bars on campus alongside my studies, so I hopped on a bus to west campus after rehearsal to start work.
- The Most Intense Day Of The Week!
- We were on campus from 9am to get ready in the dressing rooms, and have our hair and makeup done while the team got the stage prepared. (And a visit to first aid since I managed to burn myself on curlers).
- 9.50am – a quick warm up before beginning our tech-dress run at 10am!
- A quick debrief, notes and then getting out of costume while the tech team did some last-minute tweaks.
- 1-2pm – another pit-stop at the Hub Café for lunch before getting back into costume.
- 2.30pm – our first dress rehearsal in front of the module tutors, who were watching to give feedback.
- Another quick break before a long notes session from all four of the module’s lecturers. This gave us the feedback and the opportunity to make changes over the coming days to help improve the show.
- Finally home by about 7pm to some homemade ramen as a treat by a housemate!
- 9.30am – back on campus for our technical rehearsal, actioning the notes we received yesterday to make changes to lighting and sound. As directors, we had to make the final call on how we implement the advice given to us.
- A quick lunch break before more rehearsals. We ended up re-staging three or four scenes and then workshopping a couple more, trying to respond to the notes given yesterday and ensure we are constantly developing.
- Home at 5pm for some final line runs and practice with my very kind housemate who is a set designer on the project.
- 10am rehearsal on the scenes I am understudying to ensure we are confident of what we’re doing.
- 2pm – running back home to curl my hair for the show (it takes a while) and do a bit of other work.
- 6.30pm – a final dress rehearsal of the show, in front of some of our course mates from other groups.
- Final notes from lecturers and a debrief as a team to prepare for opening night tomorrow!
- 9.30am – final opportunity for tech team to make last-minute tweaks. While I was there, I also ended up giving the set crew a hand with a few final bits of painting the stage – finishing the final details.
- 11am – back home and trying to rest up before the first show! I did a couple of line runs with my housemate, and then tried a bit of reading for my dissertation.
- 6pm – on campus for our opening night. Warm up with the cast and a big pep talk before getting ready and starting the show at 7.30!
- No rest for the wicked! Back on campus at midday for a warm-up and team talk.
- 1.30pm – our final show! We did it!
- I then proceeded to watch the other groups’ shows for the rest of the day, to show support to my course mates and see the fantastic work they produced!
- Finally, we finished the week with a celebratory drink in The Glasshouse on campus with students on our course!