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Physically Fast Theatre

By Jenna Simmons

My body….it ACHES. Tuesday was a much needed dance rehearsal, and today I feel the effects of trying to teach myself to lunge into a split gracefully. (Or not so gracefully as the case may be.) I also spent eight hours hanging lights on Saturday and six hours dancing and rehearsing Sunday, and with a small break from physical exercise for vocal rehearsal Monday I am ever so sore from all the theatrical workouts. It’s all worth it though because we have a show now! It didn’t feel like a show until our stumble through on Sunday, but now the paint is starting to go up, and the set pieces are being moved into the theatre and everything’s finally coming together.

I talked earlier about how fast this show moves, but I didn’t understand what that meant for me as an actor until Sunday. The longest time I spend offstage over the course of the entire show is a little over five minutes, which means that quick changes are indeed going to be the quickest of changes that I’ve ever done. It sounds like a daunting challenge, but one that I’m sure the cast can achieve, and once we get over the hurdle of timing, I think this going to be a spectacular show (emphasis on the spectacle). Everything looks fabulous, and everything is either pink, covered in sparkles or both.

Our work Monday finalized our sound, and I finally had time to listen to the completed duets. Now, I just want to kidnap everyone and have them sing to me always. Tuesday was difficult but worth it; the dances are looking so much better and starting to work together to the point where I’m not looking around panicked as to what comes next; it just flows naturally. Everything’s starting to click into place.

There’s a feeling you get when something just works together correctly, when you nail a harmony and it sounds awesome or your cast moves perfectly in unison during a dance. It’s hard to describe but I’d imagine you feel the same way when a play goes perfectly in football or when you know you aced that math test. It feels good. I’m proud of the work everyone’s doing and although we need every second of these next three weeks to make it perfect I’m excited for the challenge and I can’t wait till that same feeling is extended throughout the whole show.

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Jenna is a sophomore Theatre Arts major here at Pitt. Previous credits include Lady Meresvale in Compleat Female Stage Beauty, Landlady in Funnyhouse of a Negro, and ASM for Cleansed/WASP.