Now that the show had been cast, we all met together on September 27 before our first music rehearsal. We were again introduced to Lisa Deer, the choreographer, and Eric Heachert, the musical director. In addition, each member of the cast introduced themselves. Director Michael McGill went over the house rules for MCT, as well as providing us with his vision for the production. He also informed us that he was still casting for some of the smaller roles and would be watching our rehearsals and having additional auditions among the chorus members to fill those spots.
After the meeting, we were given our scripts and scores so that we could begin learning the songs which the entire company would be performing. The remainder of the first night was spent on going through those numbers, which range from unison performing to two, three and four part harmonies.
The full company returned on Monday to review what we had learned at Friday's rehearsal. In addition, we received our rehearsal schedule for the next three weeks. During that time, the cast will learn all the songs, the dances and the blocking for the play.
The remainder of the first week was spent on learning the rest of the songs. Each evening was broken down into portions devoted to a single song. Unless you were involved in the featured song, you were not required to attend those rehearsals. This allowed the musical director to concentrate on selected portions, and gave the cast some free time to learn their lines and the other songs they were performing.
Since the second and third weeks of rehearsal will focus on choreography and blocking, it was imperative that the cast learn the songs during the first week so that they would be ready for the next two weeks - it's hard to learn dance moves when you're holding a script! By the end of the first week of rehearsal, we were ready to move on.
On Saturday, chorus member Haley Court and I showed up to "represent" MCT in the annual University of Montana Homecoming Parade. I dressed as a monk and held the sign for Spamalot, while Haley dressed as a street urchin in support of the upcoming Children's Theatre production of Oliver Twist, set for October 12-13, 2013.