September 5, 2008

How Shakespeare Won the West - Final Dress

Tonight was our final dress rehearsal - the show begins previews Friday Night (9/5/08). It was an excellent run after 4 days of tech. We had a good turnout of staff in the house to experience the fun - and we'll share it all with good sized preview audiences this weekend. When are you coming?

I've been thinking about what to focus on here in the blog for this production.

There is some fun tech stuff as usual. The set is a big open wooden structure - pretty cool of itself.

The tech challenges have really been a test of our theatre curtain rigging 101 skills: We have roll drops, and we have curtain on a traveler track - which opens to reveal another curtain behind it. We have curtains that fly, we have a curtain that look like a Tee Pee, and we have bunting that swags. We have a drop that that rises up from the floor - it's on a winch. We have a curtain that falls down, and one that's hung like a clothes line. And then there's the one that's called an Austrian Curtain (def - a curtain that is raised (opened) with bailed lifting lines and is sewn with both vertical and horizontal fullness). 15 feet or curtain have to appear out of no where. We're still working on that.

I think I've got them all. Oops one more - a banner that had scene titles projected on it. The projected titles were cut tonight. We'll see what happens to the banner tomorrow.

Need a refresher course on your rigging terms? Click here.

Then we have some glorious period costumes - city wear, western wear, and even some good olde Elizabethan Shakespearean garb. Yep - even the horse has a ruffle around it's neck.

The crew cleans up tonight as Richard Nelson (playwright) and Peter DuBois (Huntington Artistic Director) talk onstage after tonight's dress rehearsal.

But I'll talk more about that stuff when the pictures that Charlie Erickson took tonight are in hand. 'Cause all of that isn't really what I intended to write about in this post...

What I think I'll try to explore is what it means to have the playwright around when you're doing a world premiere (or otherwise rehearsing their play). Yes - we're doing Shakespeare, but this is a new play by Richard Nelson. I've also had the pleasure of being in tech with Melinda Lopez, Roonan Noone, Teresa Rebeck, Sinan Unel, Jon Robin Baitz, Noah Haidle, and August Wilson (just to name a few). It is a very different experience - and not just for the tech staff. Heck - the director and the actors get more notes from the playwright than I ever do.

But more on this idea later. It's one AM - I am unwound and ready for bed - and I have to be back at work in about 8 hrs. Stay tuned for more. I'll be looking for your thoughts on the subject, too...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I saw the play Sunday night. It was a pleasure to see a play with such a good plot and great actors staged so well. I usually get restless and focus on details; HSWTW had me relaxed and entertained.