Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Heckley hecklers

Soooooo last night we had our first actual dress rehearsal of As You Like It on our stage in the park. It's a challenge moving your show to a new stage, and wearing costumes for the first time, and trying to incorporate lights and music and stuff into a performance. That's what dress rehearsals are about - getting acclimated to the space and the dress and the cues. Generally, dress rehearsals are not about catcalls and hecklers and avoiding lit cigarettes. Unless you're us last night.

We started the rehearsal with just a few people walking by and stopping for a few minutes while we practiced. But then this group of drunk young guys showed up (I didn't know they were drunk - and drinking! - until after the rehearsal) and parked it for the bulk of the show.
They had something to say about EVERY SINGLE LINE it seemed. I mostly blocked it out but I heard a lot of what they were saying when I was backstage. Most of it seemed to be crude remarks about the female cast members.

It was pretty distracting to try NOT to listen to what was being said while saying lines in a new venue, but I think we all did a pretty good job, minor stumbles aside. There was one point when I saw one of our cast run to the front of the stage to remove a lit cigarette someone had flicked there. Stay classy, assholes.

According to some of the crew who were also watching (and diligently working on) the show, the guys really liked the performance and said they would come back and try to behave themselves.
Oh! Hurray!

I sure hope they come back and repeat such gems as:

"I like her breasts!"
"I'd hit that!"
and my favorite, "Can we run the train on her??"

Dudes, your mamas would be SO pissed if they heard you talking like that. I hope.

Now that I've calmed down and "gotten it out", I can add the following:
-Shakespeare (and booze) can rile people up. I enjoyed their enthusiasm, if not their application of enthusiasm.
-My fellow theatre peeps handled the situation beautifully. I am always pleased by the level of humanity and professionalism these people bring to our endeavors.
-I am crazy-excited for actual audiences who have not had lots of liquor (or are quiet drunks) to see us perform this amazing show. Everyone has put so much hard work into this and I can't wait to share it. SHARING YAY!


Shelley said...

Well, hecklers are a great Shakespearean tradition--be glad it's not like Ye Goode Olde Days, when the hecklers could sit on stage.

I wouldn't be surprised if there are hecklers during performances, especially Friday and Saturday nights; it's a high-traffic area, and frequented by stupid drunk (and high) assholes. Hopefully there will be enough theatre people to shoo them on their way if they're going to be jerks, but that's the world of outdoor theatre--there will be people walking their dogs/children, people talking on their cellphones loudly, planes flying overhead, engines backfiring, sirens blaring, and other things that try to distract you. Sounds like you did a good job blocking it out, and I'm looking forward to seeing it.

Just Another Idealist said...

I know at least one group attending Friday will be of the "quiet drunk" variety.

Leslie said...

I fully expect that we will have people shouting, playing music, riding mopeds, making smart-ass comments, and/or not noticing that we're trying to do theatre at all. I did not expect a group of people to plant themselves near the stage and perform a running commentary that included loudly proposing to have gang-sex with the actors. There's a difference.