The Awesomeness of Show Week

Again. I’m privileged. I write, and I’m in a situation where I can produce it for the stage. And it’s awesome!

Show week is coming up. It was obvious last evening as I put in six hours on set and light design. It’s not a finished product yet, but here’s what I have so far.

No. “ORIE” doesn’t have any meaning. It will actually eventually say “Stories Vol. 2” – just not there yet.  I’ve had so much over the past couple of years learning lighting design and I still have SOOO much more to learn, but it’s a pretty cool thing to work through your own script and plot out the lighting cues and imagine what the final product will look like.

This is a black-box theater type of show. I don’t have a black box theater at my disposal, so I’m making one. I’m putting the audience on-stage on platforms overlooking the small rectangular stage I created by using four ellipsoidal lights. You can see it in the picture on the left. That area is the stage for this show. It’s tiny. But that’s the way I like it. The audience will be crammed all around that area. Even the lighting console has been moved to stage right. Intimate in the extreme. In my mind, there’s nothing like intimate theater.

When I told people that the audience is going to be sitting on the stage, they look at me and shake their heads. “What is wrong with this guy?” They look out over the 650 seat auditorium and ask, “What about those seats?” They will be empty, is my reply. But they’ll understand when they see it. When they experience it. When the actors are so close you can see the veins popping out of their necks. When they see the intensity, and feel the emotion up close. Then they’ll know why I did what I did. Or at least I hope.

It’s show week. I only get about three of these a year, so I’m going to enjoy the stress, the last minute to-do list, the horrible dress rehearsal, the myriad details, the dropped lines, the dead crowds, the scared look on the faces of the young actors backstage … I’m going to enjoy it all, because it’s awesome.

 

In Production: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown

I’m excited to bring this small cast musical to life this April. If you aren’t familiar with it, it’s a terrific Broadway musical which captures the spunky insouciance of  the beloved Charles M. Shultz characters known collectively as Peanuts.

This particular musical, the revised version, focuses on 6 characters: Charlie Brown, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, Linus, and, of course, Snoopy.

I have a young, exuberant cast I’m working with, and we will put our best foot forward to bring a rousing, fun show to Saudi Arabia.

Of course, behind the scenes, LOTS of work is on the way. I have two production classes totaling 35 students who are hard at work to provide the backdrops and scenes to bring this musical to life.

Here’s a couple photos. Much more to come.

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The ladies hard at work creating Lucy’s Psychiatrist Booth. Yes, they’re doing an awesome job!
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Schroeder’s Piano Crew. The top of the baby baby grand in the foreground.
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And a sneak peak – the first look at our amazing Charlie Brown. He’s standing in front of an unfinished Broadway flat will eventually create the show’s backdrop. Photo shoot next week. More to come!