Well, the first read-through was quite a success. Despite an MIA actress (who we actually knew would not be there), everyone seemed excited by the both the play and the Steam Punk design concepts. As with any show featuring a larger cast (I have seventeen actors playing almost 40 roles, plus extras), some people were obviously stronger than others. But with seven weeks of rehearsal (an almost unheard of luxury, even in community theatre), I think I can get everyone up the level of performance this show needs.
Tomorrow we start blocking (placing and moving the actors on and about the set in a way that makes sense). Hopefully, this will take no more than six rehearsals for all three acts, and then we can really dig our teeth into the very rich meat of the material. My five "leads" will all be wonderful, though I may have to spend a little extra time with one of them (though I am confident I will able to get the performance I need). I haven't been this excited about directing a show in a very long time, and I wish I could spend all day, every day working on it. Alas, real-life intrudes and I do have to make a living. I'm so so happy to have each evening to look forward to.