Thursday, June 28, 2012

creative writing #1

a moment

perhaps sitting at the back of a classroom, admiring the angle of the late afternoon sun on a dusty chemistry lab.

or walking with someone, stopping mid-sentence and mid-stride. You don’t know why or where your mind went, but there was a sudden realization.

I opened the door to props storage, and the familiar musty smell washed over me. Dozens of chairs and odd bits of furniture make a familiar path toward the cacophony of teacups, glass bottles, old magazines, half-eaten toys from the 80’s, antique telephones, and battered suitcases. Halfway through the building, a foot in both worlds, the hair on the back of my neck rose and I knew I would die.

It’s the moment I heard a faroff bass thumping, lying in bed naked, that I remembered: I sold my soul two nights ago to a dark clown in a dream, and now there is no going back.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Opening Night: Lend Me A Tenor

Last night, our first show of the season opened to a lively and receptive audience. Lend Me A Tenor is a side-splitting farce that involves an Italian opera singer, his passionate wife, an angry boss in Cleveland, a hapless and nervous assistant, and three lovely ladies who will do whatever it takes to get what they want! The Hangar's LMAT, directed by Peter Flynn and starring Daniel Berlingeri, Lindsay Clemmons, Michael McCormick, Christopher Shyer, Janet Dacal, Eddie Vona, Emily Skinner, and Judy Levitt, was a delight.

Attending the performance was an interesting experience. When I imagine the set, I think of the space we worked in, both the backstage supports and the visual concerns in the front. Entering the house with the rest of the audience and seeing only the front of the set, lit beautifully and not scattered with tools, was very cool. I did not attend technical or dress rehearsals-- once the set was done, we started working on the kid's show (Little Mermaid) and the first experimental show of the season (Macbeth). Being an audience member with the rest of the Hangar staff was fun as well. It was very rewarding to see our hard work in action!

LMAT set in progress. Scenic designer: Ken Goldstein

Stage left of the complete set (photo by Meg Hurley)
As I mentioned, we've been working on the children's show and experimental productions as well. Young designers and directors get the chance to work on these, and the TD and paint interns get to take leadership roles as well, so we work with a variety of people. Little Mermaid has to fit into the mainstage space: we have some boat flats and seaweed covers that will go in.

Macbeth will be in the local high school black box theater, a nice space. We built a tabletop and rigged it to hang upside down over the stage-- complete with plates, glasses, silverware, chairs, and a chandelier. It took a long time and a lot of planning to set this table!

Hanging it was fun. We also cleaned and reorganized the high school scene shop, which would have been a drag except it's a very nice space, very well-equipped. Now, we are ahead of schedule, and have today and possibly tomorrow off before our Titanic steel comes in on Monday to start welding!

More updates soon!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Working at the Hangar Theater

It's week 2 in Ithaca for me, and I am really loving it here so far! Ithaca is a lot like Burlington: lakeside college city with some beautiful downtown walking streets, lots of hippies and local companies, with some wealth present as well. I've gotten somewhat used to the one-way streets and the detours (due to construction now, while the college kids are gone) and been able to explore a little.

As a member of the production crew, I am housed at Ithaca College for most of the summer, and our apartments are really nice-- we have a great view of the lake and sunset, a spiral staircase, and a cute little porch. My roommates and I get along well: I am in a double with Becca, a scene shop intern, and we share the apartment with Megan, the paint intern, and Sam, a costume shop intern. We've done some shopping together and are settling into some routines to make this summer work, and have already had some bonding experiences too.

The people at Hangar seem great so far. Departments work together, attitude is overall good, despite the fact that we share a fairly small space with a VERY large amount of people.  The shop is small but well-equipped, with a high ceiling to accommodate scenery and storage. I'm enjoying the work so far. Lend Me A Tenor is the first show we're doing, and it's very repetitive with lots of walls and platforms to build/repair/treat, but it's a great way to kick off the season and get everyone accustomed to how this shop works. Outside of the theater it is nice to have this group of people to go out with or watch movies with every now and then.

The schedule is going to get pretty intense soon, however. Hangar has a lot of programs, including kids shows, experimental theater, educational programs, and the 5 mainstages...all of which we'll be building. I'm hoping to apply for non-summer jobs soon, since I don't know what my days will look like when everything kicks off more!

For more info on the Hangar theater and this season's productions, visit