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    Posted January 29, 2007

Diary of a Dance Captain

By Michelle Kittrell - Dance Captain, LEGALLY BLONDE

Michelle Kittrell

Week 7 and 8 - San Francisco

So here we are in San Francisco! After a long travel day, we began working the very next day. The first day in the theatre (Golden Gate) was so exciting. Seeing the set for first time gave everyone goosebumps! There was not much time to relish the moment as we started the technical process immediately. "Tech", as it's called, involves the cast in microphones dealing with elements of the sets (including transitions) and lights. There is as much backstage choreography and traffic patterns as there is onstage with all the crew people finding ways to get set pieces off and on the stage. This can be a slow process...especially when setting light cues are involved. There sometimes is a lot of standing around for the focusing of lights. During this time, Jerry and Denis are also "setting numbers" for the musical staging (numbers are placed downstage across the width of the stage so the actors know where to hit their mark every time). This is very important as lights are specifically set for this placement. This also means that Rusty and I are doing a lot of documenting. Since I am onstage and Rusty is a Swing, we do some teamwork with this. He does most of the writing and I give him information, from the stage, as to where people are standing both on numbers and with depth. Rusty has gotten good at reading my lips! We just received the actual chart pages that are replicas of the stage. We haven't really started using them quite yet since things are constantly improving. New versions of songs and staging happen on a daily we are writing in pencil!

Michelle and Rusty

During this process, costumes have also been added. That was a fantastic day! It truly completes the character that every actor has been working on. And it's just so much fun to see what each person is wearing. And being Legally Blonde, the fashion is unreal! Gregg Barnes, the costume designer, is such a talented man...not to mention the sweetest guy you'll ever meet. But just as staging, vocals, and lines continue to adjust so do the costumes. It's all about making the show the best that it can be... and that includes every single element.

Diary Entries

I was asked to write a journal for Equity's website to explain what the position of Dance Captain entails from the ground up on a new Broadway musical. In my case, LEGALLY BLONDE.

Read All the entries:
Week One
Week Two
Week Three
Weeks Four & Five
Week Six
Weeks Seven & Eight
Weeks Nine & Ten
Week Eleven
Weeks Twelve & Thirteen
Weeks Fourteen & Fifteen
Weeks Sixteen & Seventeen
Weeks Eighteen & Nineteen

Another exciting experience was the sitzprobe. A sitzprobe is where the cast meets the band and hears the orchestrations for the first time. Microphones are set up for the cast to sing along. It tends to be an emotional experience. To have only heard the score with piano and drums for so many weeks and then to hear the most incredible sound ever is truly amazing. A great day and definitely a memorable one.

That rounds up what has taken place during the past 2 weeks of tech. Previews begin next week...and the work continues!

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