Rehearsal goes well ahead of ASU student's horror-comedy play, set to debut Friday in Tempe after weeks of preparation
Editor's note: This is the fourth installment of a semester-long series following the production of "Feathers and Teeth" from casting call to wrap party. Look for the next story soon.
Director Ricky Araiza knows he’ll wake up Friday morning the same way he always does when a show is ready to open: petrified and in full panic.
“I’m terrified,” said Araiza, an ASU graduate student who will unveil his biting new horror-comedy “Feathers and Teeth” Friday evening in Tempe.
“I’m already a ball of nerves, and that’s just how it is,” he said. “The week before opening night where all of the elements come together is the most stressful time for me.”
The seven-performance run will debut Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nelson Fine Arts Center and conclude on Nov. 6. Two of the performances are almost sold out. General admission tickets are $10 and $5 for students. For more information, go here.
Araiza, a third-year master of fine arts student in Arizona State University’s School of Film, Dance and TheatreThe School of Film, Dance and Theatre is a unit of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts., says these emotions have become ritual for him and that they come with being a director. Whether he knows it or not, he’s a perfectionist. This play is not only the equivalent of his master’s thesis, but it’s his baby, his ball of wax — and he feels the weight.
The young director felt the full force Wednesday night when the first dress rehearsal for “Feathers and Teeth” took place, almost eight weeks after the first audition.
The rafters of Nelson Center Fine Arts Center, Studio 133, were filled approximately with 50 crew members who collectively cover design and construction, sound and lighting, special effects, props, makeup, wardrobe, choreography and publicity. The mixture of stage veterans and rookies were all gathered to see how the play's elements blended together with the actors’ performance.
Araiza, as the old saying goes, expected the worst and hoped for the best.
“This will probably be a terrible run-through, and that’s good,” he said. “I like and encourage failing. When we mess up, we get it out of our system and understand what we did wrong and how we can do it better.”
Actually, it wasn’t bad. The first run-through exposed a lighting cue and wardrobe snag, which are considered easy fixes. In the dark, Araiza could be seen furiously scribbling notes, writing down mistakes only his eyes could spot.
“Tonight was typical for a dress rehearsal, and Ricky’s doing a great job,” said Tom Aberger, a clinical assistant professor and stage manager in the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. “He’s always finding little tweaks to make things better.”
While Araiza is making adjustments with the technical crew, the cast has to make new acting choices brought on by the new wardrobe.
Tess Galiboti, a 20-year-old acting major, said she has been preparing for this night for weeks by walking around in 3-inch heels. Her character, Carol, has been described by playwright Charise Castro Smith as “Carol Brady on speedballs." Carol is flashy, flamboyant and fond of turquoise eye shadow and Pepto Bismol-colored pantsuits.
“Costumes force your body to move differently,” Galiboti said. “Then add in sounds, lighting, props, all these different elements. Every show becomes a work in progress, even after opening night.”