Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blithe Spirit at Saint Michael's Playhouse

We are three days into the performances of Noel Coward's Blithe Spirit here at Saint Michael's Playhouse! I can't believe it is the third show of the season already. It feels like the summer just barely began....and yet it also feels like the staff and interns have known each other forever. Starring Paul Bernardo, Sarah Carleton, Bill Carmichael, Kathryn Markey, Agnes Cummings, Audra Wahhab, and the delightful Molly Ziegler, Blithe Spirit is a ghostly, funny play by Noel Coward about the events at a dinner party one fateful evening at the house of Charles and Ruth Condomine and the consequences that follow. It is showing Tuesday through Saturday this week and next week, 8pm with a 2pm matinee on Saturdays as well.

For two weeks I have been in rehearsal for Blithe Spirit, taking lots of props notes and at the ready on book for when actors called for a line. Changeover from Around the World in 80 Days went very well, and the set pieces and lights for Blithe were placed Saturday night. Tech was a different story. The backstage area is fairly crowded, and although I appreciate the responsibility I've been given on this production as the only ASM backstage, it seems that the powers that be need to learn to trust myself and the rest of the crew even now, two days after opening. But the opening was successful and although things are a little choppy in terms of lines for the actors, we are settled in and the backstage crew for Blithe got a compliment from the Burlington Free Press.

Now, rehearsals and building for Always, Patsy Cline have begun! With only two actresses and very few props in this musical I am going to be bounced to the shop to build. The set will involve a series of platforms, stairs, and glitter, as is customary for a production directed by Keith Andrews and designed by Tim Case. We are all looking forward to relaxing somewhat during our days as Patsy shows during the evenings the last two weeks of Playhouse; the shop will clean and hold workshops for the interns, and everyone will wrap the season up and head home.

I'm thinking about taking a road trip after leaving Playhouse this summer. With about 2 weeks free in the end of August, I can visit my relatives at their traditional rendezvous at Salisbury beach, and then head west. I have visited Florida, Montreal, Quebec, New York City, and Boston, but otherwise I haven't seen much of the country. It's something to think about and plan ahead for, anyway. Playhouse consumes almost every thought and moment over the course of these 10 weeks, so it is hard to think about going back home, and coming back to school after that. It will be a busy semester, for sure, but no amount of involvement in Saint Michael's College Drama Club and theater department can compare to the intensity of Playhouse. I'm sort of disappointed to think I should apply somewhere else next summer to get a different experience in...but no matter where I wind up next summer I think I am done being a stage management intern.  

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sweating our way into July....

I can't believe it is July already... where is this summer going? Two days ago I was celebrating the marriage of my brother Dan to his girlfriend of 8 years, Kate, and my own gain of a wonderful sister : ) They are high school sweethearts, both music students and (now) music teachers who spent their college years hours away from one another. My oldest brother, Andrew, took this picture. Check out my pictures here. The wedding was at 5:30pm on July 3rd at the Monitor Barn in Richmond, Vermont, with an outdoor ceremony that actually had sweat rolling for many of us... too much information? The past two days have been at least 10 degrees hotter! At least the McCarthy building is well air-conditioned, enough so that I wear long sleeves and jeans to work. That's right, it's back to the grind after a beautiful day for my family.

It has been a while since I've actually had the time to sit down and write. Or sit down and do anything, for that matter, unless you count being on book during rehearsal. Since I last wrote, we completed the changeover from The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee into Around the World in 80 Days, which is currently showing through this Saturday. Because of my involvement in the wedding, I got the run of 80 Days off (which doesn't mean much, as I've been in rehearsal every night about as long as the performances) and my whole life is consumed by rehearsal for Blithe Spirit, our 3rd show of the season.

I can't say I'm bored since things in rehearsal are hopping with props and line notes and setting things up and doing paperwork, but I am finding I miss working in the shop...and not just because of the good company I'm sure. It seems that stage management is something that a certain personality takes to, an organized and thorough personality, and I feel that I have that personality but stage managing just doesn't have a creative nor a physical outlet. It is not as rewarding as other positions in the theater world, and this summer among many changes I am going through, I feel that I am moving on from the stage management world.

I have to say, so much has happened this summer and I can't imagine a minute of it without my friend Molly, and the friends I've made here. This fall will be very strange, going back to school without Molly, Liz, and Heather (all of whom are going to England to study abroad), and without the person I've spent the past two years of college with. All I know is everything happens for a reason, and change is a scary, scary thing, but the world would never grow without those changes. And some of them, as this past weekend of celebration and dancing and seeing family proved, can be a good thing.