Boeing Boeing: Truing it up.
By Allison Bloechl
Everyone loves a good farce, but not everyone realizes just how much work goes into one. We’re into our second week of rehearsals for our summer farce, Boeing Boeingand we’re flying (get it?). We blocked the whole show in one week, and have devoted the second to fine tuning.
Farce is mechanical. It’s all about timing. What’s wonderful about Boeing rehearsals is how quickly we’re covering everything. The sooner we know what, when and why we’re doing what we’re doing, the sooner we can perfect it.
Most of the good stuff happens once the actors are off book, and farce is no exception. Gigantic physical comedy stunts cannot be crafted and polished fully until scripts are out of hands. Minuscule moments of timing are painstakingly choreographed to ensure that the jokes land and the audience gets a great laugh.
We’re at one of my favorite points in rehearsal, where we really get to grind out the comedy. We might work the same five-second bit for half an hour, but it is undeniably worth it. We get into the nitty gritty details and everything starts flowing. A mentor of mine calls it the “true-up”. It comes from a carpentry phrase. Once all of the walls of a house are up and everything’s in place, it’s time to true it up. That means, in the carpentry world, making sure joints are flush, all is in place, and there are no loose ends. It translates perfectly to the theatrical world. In our true-up, we tighten up our jokes, make sure our choices are good, and figure out how everything flows. We find the truth in the true-up.
At this point in rehearsal, we’re on our third time through the show. The first was the initial blocking, the second was broader tweaking, and now we’re at the beginning of the truing phase – the minute details that make a farce a farce. Of course, nothing is set in stone until opening, but we can now watch the work get better and better and truer and truer with every step.
Everyone loves a good farce and Boeing Boeing is no exception. Our audiences will love the perfectly timed calamity of one man with three internationally eccentric fiancées. A lot of work goes into these fast-paced and hilarious shows, all so our audience can get every last drop of comedy goodness.