Excerpts from the summer blog

Posted by AngiGrrrl on 08/07/2009 in Musings |

Oh hey,

So doing two blogs all summer was too much. I just didn’t have the time or the internet connection to make it happen. I have copied some of my blogs from the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival.

May 28, 2009 Angi Travels Out West

Hello, I’m Angi, one of the Stage Managers. My dog, Cooper, and I are driving from Orlando, Florida to Reno, Nevada this week. We will be stopping to see some fun people on the way. I will be blogging about the trip here.

My journey to Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival officially started yesterday morning at 6am when my alarm starting blaring “Lean on Me.”. Oy. I am not a morning person. This is why I work in theatre! But nonetheless, I put the last couple of items in the car, grabbed the dog, kissed Hubby and headed out.

Rain for the first two or three hours. No good. But it cleared up somewhere in South Georgia and I had a nice drive to Atlanta.

Friends Helen and Justyn live here in the ATL and put me up for the night. My adorable god daughter, Samantha has gotten so big! She is almost-six. She has two days of school left. She read me an entire book before bed. Yeah, she is the main reason I took the easy “only seven hours the first day” route.

Today, not so easy. I am going to make it to Salina, KS this evening. 15 hours of open road today. I’m up for it. I have tunes, Russian lessons, podcasts and snacks. Did I mention I love road trips?

Time to go! Gotta grab the dog.

Monday, June 1 Prep Week

Wow so we really are trail blazing here! Nykol and I came into a place where there was no Stage Management department in place and we made one up! It has been a crazy week but what a rush!

The first part of the week was so busy. I got here (Reno, NV) on Saturday and Nykol got in Sunday. We talked game plan, policy and Create-A-Company. We made a huge list over coffee and got to work.

Tuesday we went to the office. We have a conference room in the basement at UNR I have been thrown back into the world of Academia. The college is right down the street from Reno’s city center. The Biggest Little City in the World.

We have scheduled meetings, attended meetings, stocked first aid, created paperwork by the ton. Yay new templates!

Shopping with GrĂ¼ber is a blast. We had a field trip to Staples. I have really enjoyed working with him so far. I expect that will continue through the season!

I really like Team SM. We have a great group and will rock this summer out! The entire company is awesome, to be specific I am at the end of a loooooong prep week. I have to finish putting my book together, go shop for courtesy items and (of course) check Facebook.

Tuesday, June 9 TEAM SM

Well our first week of rehearsals are over. Team SM completed a marathon of paperwork and finished Sunday night distribution in 50 minutes. Stage Management updates all the paperwork on Sunday to reflect the changes that happened during the week. New props list, new line assignments, cuts and additions to the script, anything that is different.

We spent this week doing table work. That means the actors and directors (and Team SM) sit around a big table and talk through their parts. We explore character development and try to figure out what Shakespeare meant when he wrote each line. The actors get to know each other and try out bits to find the funny or the tragic. I don’t have a lot to do while this is going on. I use the time to double check all my info is correct and all my ducks are in a row. I also make sure we stay on track and take breaks at the correct time.

Next week is when the fun starts for me. When we get on our feet.

Team SM continues to amaze me. My assistant, Claire, is fantastic. She is fun and smart and easy to get along with. She is the only new addition to this team, but you would never know it. She made the transition flawlessly and we feel like she has been part of our group forever!

My director, Fontaine, is also pretty amazing. She is a strong woman, but she isn’t letting her feminism cloud the overall feel of Much Ado. If you don’t know, women are treated like objects in most literature from this time period. This play is no exception. However, Much Ado has some strong women in it and could be played with bumbling fool men, leading to a whole different interpretation. I like that Fontaine has addressed this and also shared that she wants the antics of the show to reflect the relationships between men and women from all aspects and not either side of the “typical coin.”

Well the week is done, its my day off and I am going to explore Reno! I like the “Biggest Little City in the World.”. It does have a small town feel but with all the good stores. UNR is only blocks from downtown so I have had a chance to check out “the strip.” It is no Vegas but it is good fun. I have a million picture of various friends having fun but I was not there. Work kept me away from Eurofest and $.99 margaritas. Soon, little city, soon.

Tuesday, June 16 BLOCKING THE SHOW

The phase after table work is called blocking. We stagemanagers have measured the plans for the set and laid down different colors oftape to represent the stage. This gives the actors a good idea where the wallsand stairs are. It shows them windows, doors, entrances and the like. Next thedirector tells the actors where to move to inside the scene. I keep track in myscript of where everyone moves to and how they get there. This is blocking. Itsimportant to keep a record of where everyone is during the show for a myriad ofreasons. The costumers need to know where the actor is going to exit so theycan be in the right place to do quick changes, the crew needs to know so the propscan be in the right place. I need to know so I can call light and sound whenthe actors say or do the cues. Blocking takes a bit of time. Last week we didPart One. Part one is everything that happens before intermission. Shakespeare wrote plays in five acts so part oneusually ends somewhere in the middle of Act three. In other words, we are abouthalf way through.

We tried to go roller skating on our day off yesterday, butit is not yet open for the summer. So we went to a huge outdoor mall, which wasfun.

We have two more weeks here in Reno before we move to the lake. Today is anexciting day because we find out where we are living when we move! Hooray!

Thursday, July 2

We made the big move! We finished out our last week in Reno, packed everyone up and headed to the Lake.

The last two weeks went by like a whirlwind. We managed to move into the Redfield theatre, the designers flocked in and we ran the show a couple of times. We found time for a million fittings and voice and speech sessions. We worked scenes and found new moments of laughter and tears.

Then we all packed up and headed to our new digs at the lovely Northstar resort. We have the cutest lodge with two balconies and sweeping views of the mountains. The move went very smoothly. We settled right in. A special THANK YOU to Company Management for making it easy. Can you imagine almost your entire company picking up and moving 40 miles away without missing a beat of work? Yeah. We did it!

We had a wonderful BBQ at the gazebo near our theatre. I think everyone is breathing a collective sigh of relief that the move is behind us and we can work on the actual stage.

My show is spending the first three hours of rehearsal at Tahoe School in a rehearsals space so the carpenters can have some extra time to work. I am heading to the school now to tape out the set and create a place to rehearse.


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