all the worldwide web is a stage The Official Website of Richard Reilly

The Official Website of Richard Reilly

Acting Naturally

Richard's Writings > Acting Naturally > A Christmas Carol day by day in rehearsal

Synopsis of A Christmas Carol day by day in rehearsal

Most of the other productions are described in summary, with a special focus on something unusual about that particular show: casting changes, fighting the weather, working with a live orchestra, and so on. I thought it would be interesting to let the reader see what it is like to do a show from first read-through to opening night. So I describe the highlights from the rehearsals, and that alone makes for 15 pages of fascinating reading.

Excerpt from A Christmas Carol day by day in rehearsal

Easy Street had made copies of a language tape, which were distributed to the cast. One side coached you in speaking with an English cockney accent, and the other side coached you in speaking with middle-upper class English accent. They're well made tapes, and I have been listening to mine as I drive into work.

It's interesting to see some costumes that I recognize from previous productions, now appearing again on different actors - but altered. For instance,

I have written some notes to myself in my script, to help me recapture the genuine feelings for a particular scene. For instance - again with the tombstone scene - I have written "wary" in the margin: Scrooge doesn't leap into terror, he has questions about what he has been shown this evening, and still he refuses to associate the tombstone with his own mortality. When the tombstone is confirmed as his, he first feels disbelief, then denial, while at the same time growing realization that he has suspected the truth all the while. Then he drowns in the full impact of witnessing his own grave, and finally in desperation he tries to bargain with the spirit - "if I repent, and I do repent, I do repent!"

We are at the point in our rehearsals where we are doing run-throughs of each Act in its entirety. This is just what I need. The emotion of one scene carried over into the next. A feeling that this is real, not just practice...

The boy who plays Boy Scrooge dropped out on Wednesday. However, it really seems to be a blessing in disguise. April is going to play the Beggar Boy who buys the big goose for Scrooge on Christmas Day, and Shaina is going to play Boy Scrooge... It was fun teaching Shaina and April how to walk like a boy - I'd walk and then they would follow, copying the way I slouch, swing my arms and shift my hips ala John Wayne.


Click here to go direct to the next chapter.

Click here to email the author.