If we stage critics think our deadlines are cruel to us, they can be murder to actors -- especially when a preview performance must be reviewed. Psychological preparation is everything for a stage actor, because that safety net known as "retakes" in the film world doesn't exist on stage. The notion of "previews" -- a discounted run-through in front of a general audience, with an understanding on their part that the actors are granted latitude to feel out the contours of their roles -- often seems silly to audience members ("What difference can it possibly make between a Friday preview and a Saturday opening?"), but it's the confidence-building permission the performers give themselves to do a little crawling before they (hopefully) spring onto both feet... More >>>