After months of planning her production through research and close study of the script, director Barbara Gaines began rehearsals for Macbeth on November 21. Rehearsals move on to the actual set from the fourth floor rehearsal hall on December 8 in preparation for its first audience on December 31, 2008.
While rehearsals with actors have just begun, the Production Department has been busy for months, coordinating and overseeing all areas of design and production: the construction, acquisition and rental of sets, props, costumes, wigs, make-up, lights and sound. In order to be ready on time, set building started in early October. Preliminary set designs were due at the end of August, giving the production team a month to do the necessary research and detailing to fine-tune the designs. Preliminary costume renderings were submitted mid-September, and work building the costumes began in mid-October.
The design processes for the elements of lighting and sound for a show are different—in part because nothing requires building as it does for the set and costumes. Communications are passed back and forth between the designers and the director: sketches for light angles and colors, photographs, or sound cues and music. A few weeks before the start of technical rehearsals, the lighting designer submits a light plot—detailed drawings and a set of instructions about the required lighting instruments, such as placement and color. The sound designer submits source sounds—the sounds and music that will be mixed into the show. Production Manager Chris Plevin anticipates a Macbeth rich in sound and lighting effects, but this organic design process will be completed only when all the components come together in the theater.