Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tech Week

In honor of tech week, which by some is lovingly referred to as "hell week", a few pictures and introductions of my fellow team members, without whom this, or any other show, would not be happening.

This is Katie, our stage manager who keeps us all on track and in the loop. During the show she calls all of the light and sound cues. To try to list all of the other things she does and is in charge of would mean a VERY long post, so just trust me when I say she is indispensable!

Richard and Dominic (seen here behind the light board) both hold two titles for this show. Richard is the lighting and set designer and Dominic is the technical director (the one who actually builds the set) and the light board operator. Although they're very busy, these jobs combine well because they mostly happen at different times.

Joshua is our sound designer and sound board operator. He sets up the sound system, makes sure all of the actors' microphones are working and are balanced with the orchestra. He also designs and executes all of the sound cues.

Deb, our costume designer and director Vicki, getting a first peek at the actors in costume.

Caleb is one of our follow spot operators and is seen here climbing up in the truss on some sort of mission. (Don't worry, he is wearing a safety harness!)

Bradley is working as our running crew and helps me with the scene changes; moving furniture around, setting props and flying windows.

Katherine is our wardrobe coordinator and dresser. She makes sure that everyone gets in (and out of) the right costume in time and is in charge of costume upkeep as well. Behind her, you can see Jeremy, our education director and Paul, our musical director.

And lastly, this is Chris. He works as the master electrician at SMT and for Company will be the bartender at our brand new bar! Come buy a drink and say hello!

We open this Friday - hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hello SMT blog readers! My name is Lauren and I am the assistant director for Company. The show is looking fantastic as we gear up for tech week - it's been exciting to add lights, and start seeing the costumes this week! We have our first rehearsal with the band on Saturday and from what I've heard so far they are sounding wonderful. This is one of my favorite parts of the rehearsal process because finally all the pieces that we've been imagining as we blocked are coming together, and you can see the show emerge. I've been surviving all week on a steady diet of carbs, tea and not enough sleep - I'm the rare theatre artist that doesn't like coffee so that's my substitute! Amongst other things, this week as we run the show I've been trying to watch from every possible angle in the audience to make sure that no matter where you sit the sightlines are clear. Because there's still construction going on this means I'm frequently crawling under boards and climbing over seats to get to where I want to sit! It's hard to believe that we open in a week - check back soon for tales from tech week!

Putting It Together*

Hello blog readers! My name is Ben, and I am playing the role of David in SMT’s upcoming production of COMPANY. Rehearsals are moving along with the same rapid pace that the production demands. It’s hard to believe that we began rehearsals a month and a half ago. My, how time flies! It seems like just yesterday that I was huddled around the piano with the rest of the cast and music director, Paul Linnes for the first time, sight-signing through Sondheim’s wonderfully challenging music. But here we are, a week out from opening night!

Although tech week officially begins next Monday, (that is, the week in which all of the technical elements of the production are added to rehearsals), we’ve been seeing layers of tech added with each passing day. I tried on my swingin’ 70’s costume earlier this week (and couldn’t resist the urge to flash a peace sign to our stage manager extraordinaire, Katie as she walked by). The set has been painted and new pieces of furniture have been appearing on stage; but the most notable technical element to be added has been the lighting. I have been told that the electrical system has been updated at SMT and also noticed that they have a new light board since I last acted in SMT’s production of GUYS & DOLLS last spring. It’s an ETC Ion light board. [Insert an angelic choral “Ahs” here.] For those of you who aren’t a big theatre geek like me, just know that this is an uber-swanky light board which, combined with the updated electrical system at SMT, makes the stage brighter and prettier than ever. And, of course us actors like to be lit.

So, with tech week a couple of days away and opening night around the corner, a constant stream of coffee will be my life support. (A special thanks to the SMT staff and production crew for keeping this warm, caffeinated goodness available at all times.) Come back to this site soon to see how I’m fairing through tech week. Bye for now!

(*No, we’re not doing SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, but I just couldn’t resist the oh-so-appropriate Sondheim reference.)

Moving right along

A quick introduction: my name is Carine and I am working as the assistant stage manager on Company. Before this show, I was the stage manager for The Producers and worked as backstage crew on Honk! While the stage manager, Katie, is in charge of making sure that everything is on track, my job is to make sure that everything operates smoothly backstage.

This week we have started adding some tech elements; our lighting designer, Richard, is adding lights and we are incorporating scene changes. With the way that the set has been designed, I spend a lot of time under the platforms, moving furniture and props around. The challenge is rotating the set pieces under the platform to make sure they are ready to be pushed out when they need to be - all without making too much noise, or whacking my head repeatedly, of course.

On Saturday we will have our long tech day, when the actors will work with the orchestra for the first time (a rehearsal called the sitzprobe) will have their wireless microphones on for the first time, and we will be adding sound, light and follow spot cues. Our crew person will also join us then, which will make juggling the set pieces a lot easier!

One of the main reasons I got into theatre, and stage management in particular, is that I like collaborating with a team of people. And at SMT, we have a pretty terrific team that I will try to introduce over the next few weeks. Keep watching this space!