Monday, July 30, 2012

creative writing #2

Lightning strikes all around me, picking off names I almost know. Who will be next? Where is the reason? Just out of sight, just out of reach

their silence echoes down hallways, in rooms and halls and stalls and houses, through trees down sidewalks under bridges until it fills the sky, asking


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Titanic the Musical at the Hangar Theater

Ithaca's Hangar Theater is currently producing an adaptation of Titanic the musical, a touching rendition of the historical event that looks especially at the relationships onboard and how lives were affected by the disaster. The story focuses on 4 couples from different classes, the leadership aboard the ship, and the hopes and aspirations of various passengers. Our production is carefully downsized from the original version, featuring just 20 actors and actresses playing multiple roles.

Building the set for Titanic was a big challenge because it is almost exclusively made of steel. Designed by Jo Winiarski, the scenery is an imaginative combination of steel framework and platforms, quite reminiscent of a ship, complete with railings and a swing-down, climb-able mast. Everyone in the scene shop worked overtime and learned much about metalwork during this process.
The main part of the set: a leaning frame wall & inset platform

The obstacles we faced building this show were more than the welding, cleaning, grinding, and treating of the steel materials, however. We received our order of steel 3 days late into the build, which is a big delay because it put us behind schedule and the paint crew, who paints the set as we finish it, was also affected. Transporting the huge wall frame and heavy platforming onto the stage was hard work as well, and the platforms had to be bolted and welded in the space during our changeover time. Other departments faced challenges as well, sometimes holding us up, but like any theater company learns, sharing space and time is an important balance and requires patience and communication. Luckily, we have a pretty solid team in the shop this summer.

The mast, also tilted, swings down to allow an actor to climb up it.

The final large component of the set: platforms over the entrances in the audience. Here is us at load-in installing one of them.

Other events at the Hangar these past few weeks have included more Wedge shows in our experimental series (Happy Days, This is Our Youth) that we have built and loaded in to the local high school's black box theater, and Kidstuff shows (Little Mermaid, Dish and the Spoon, Pirates) that are built to perform on top of the Mainstage sets. Currently, we are waiting on designer plans for the next mainstage-- Full Gallop, a one-woman show about the founder of Vogue magazine-- which opens next week. Hopefully that process will be moving along soon!

Thank you for reading, and as always visit the Hangar Theater's website for more information about the shows we produce.
I spent an afternoon welding on the main bridge platform!