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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Behind the scenes of ‘24-Hour’

Published: September 16, 2011
Section: Arts, Etc.

Ever wondered what it’s like to put on a show after only 24 hours of rehearsal? Up until this year, so did I. Though my journey as co-choreographer began last May, nothing quite prepared me for the madness that is the 24-Hour Musical. Those 24 hours may be over and done, but here’s a sneak peek at what went on behind the scenes.

7:41 p.m.: It is 20 minutes until the doors open and we announce the show. We (the production staff) are freaking out a little in the Green Room. We’re all really excited but can’t believe 24-Hour is finally here. In order to keep our cast guessing what the show is going to be just a bit longer, we’re all dressed up like we’re from different musicals, and I’m representing “Cats.” Can’t wait to tell them we’re doing “The Wedding Singer!”

9:16 p.m.: We’ve just seen our schedule for the night and it is utter chaos in the theater. How come every time I get asked a question it’s one I don’t know the answer to? And is this all really going to fit in 24 hours? The schedule says so, but I’m already scheduled to teach two different dances in two different places at the same time. Uh oh!

10:03 p.m.: After realizing that I never ate dinner, I’m heading to Ollie’s in my down time. Nom nom nom …

Midnight: Just delivered a birthday cake to our lovely costume designer. Happy 21st Deirdre!

1:04 a.m.: Currently watching the first of many dance invasions of the Atrium. I have no energy to move. Herbie Rosen ’12 is carrying around a giant cellphone. Huh?

2:33 a.m.: I just woke up from an hour-long nap. It’s a little disconcerting to wake up and realize there are a lot of people around that weren’t there when you fell asleep. Especially when they’re all looking at you and the couch they need you to get off of.

3:11 a.m.: Nap-time the II. As a side note, the red couches in the Atrium are pretty darn comfy.

6:12 a.m.: I just brushed my teeth, so I’m feeling relatively human again. Breakfast time!

7:21 a.m.: Here begins the long haul. We’re now going to start the full-cast numbers and the larger dance routines, so here’s where I get real busy. I’ve got five numbers to teach before 5 p.m.

8: 46 a.m.: A moment of silence.

9:39 a.m.: Deirdre is running around with a hooded shark towel as a cape. There are no sharks in “The Wedding Singer” but Deirdre is not deterred.

11:21 a.m.: Things are really starting to come together. The opening and closing numbers are all taught and they look pretty good. It’s sort of scary to think that we might not run them again until we have an audience.

12:23 p.m.: Lunch time. Seven and a half hours until the show sounds like a lot of time to me right now, but I have a sinking suspicion it’s going to fly by.

1:41 p.m.: Has anyone seen the directors? There are three of them and I can’t seem to find any of them.

2:47 p.m.: Like many of the cast members, I’m suspicious that I may not have a voice tomorrow. It’s not like I need it for a class with the university’s president or anything …

3:14 p.m.: Five hours to go and one last dance to teach. I’m feeling a little like the Little Engine that Could right now. I think I can, I think I can.

4:31 p.m.: I’m done teaching. It’s out of my hands. That’s simultaneously thrilling and petrifying.

4:42 p.m.: Checking out the stage for the first time since 9:30 last night. We have a set! Thank you awesome techies!

5: 25 p.m.: Our run-time on stage begins, and we will be running five numbers at most. That’s it. I have a whole new appreciation for our cast and their bravery.

6:03 p.m.: Our last break begins. I’ve got one hour to shower, get dressed, hide the dark circles under my eyes and get back to the theater for call time. There’s not even time for a cat nap!

7:14 p.m.: Once again, I have made the Einsteins salad sacrifice to the theater gods. This entails buying a salad and bagel because you don’t have time to go anyplace else on campus, and then some days only having time to eat half of it. This is one of those days.

8:20 p.m.: The theater is open and the ushers are filling the last of the seats. I’m sitting in the front row with the rest of the production staff, and our excitement and nerves can hardly be contained. The crowd behind us has been waiting hours for this moment and I’m just as anxious as them to see what hilarity ensues. Our 24 hours of rehearsal are over, but I’m pretty sure the best part is just about to start.