I’m rehearsing for two different one-acts for two different shows. One’s a comedy, the other’s a drama. They both open within about a week from each other.
It’s been really interesting working on these two opposing pieces with two opposing rehearsal processes. The comedy opens later, but began rehearsals earlier and the drama opens sooner but began rehearsals later. So basically one feels well worked on and the other, more or less thrown together. The cool thing about a shorter rehearsal process is it forces you into gear. No chance to procrastinate, no chance to worry about memorizing lines. You just have to figure it out. You have no choice. This immediacy also informs the performance. It gets you out of your head, which works out nicely because I typically get more in my head with dramas anyway. It puts you more in the moment. No time to really second guess your choices.
Of course, I’d prefer a longer rehearsal process. A decent amount of time to prepare, but there is something to gain from the thrown together shows. I never thought I’d say that, but got used to it with my theater company up North. It’s how things have been run up there for the most part. But now we are finally, slowly, steering away from that towards a planned out rehearsal process. Much like that of the comedic one-act I’m doing. It’s been really fun having all the time I need with a comedic piece because I usually don’t get a chance to work on comedies. Those are the ones that are almost always put together last minute. I’ve always been of the belief that comedy comes out of playing out the ridiculous situation with all sincerity and reality. Diving in to this “out there” comedy, the characters, the background, etc. has made my performance and the piece a lot stronger.
Ideally, yes, more rehearsals is best. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a positive experience and learn a thing or two with just a couple of run throughs.