Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Dance!

Upon successful opening of the show, our Director takes a moment to dance as King of the Sea Turtles. OK.... I guess you had to be there. But just in case you weren't, here it is:

Production photos will be up soon. In the meantime, we move onward to our production of SIX WOMEN WITH BRAIN DEATH!! Details coming soon!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Up And Running!

What an amazing week it's been!

We started last week with a wonderful article in The Morning Call, a great tech weekend and dress rehearsals that ran smoothly and allowed us ample time to fully incorporate all of the new elements into the work that we had already done.

We opened to a throroughly enthusiastic crowd on Thursday, have been playing to at or near-capacity crowds, and received a glowing review from The Morning Call this morning!

It's been a wonderful week - there are still a few seats available - please come check it out tonight or Sunday afternoon!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Photos From Our Tech Weekend

These are taken from the booth above the theatre, so they may not be the best photos, but they give a sense of some of the staging.

Tickets are selling VERY quickly, so if you haven't done so already, please call 610-606-4608 or visit the online reservation page.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Just A Week Away....

Well, today we just completed our technical rehearsals, and everything looks AMAZING!!! I will have photos to post shortly.

Tech rehearsals often times become stigmatized, because they're long, sometimes stressful, full of "hurry-up-and-wait" moments and.... well, did I mention long?

As for me, I am a HUGE fan of technical rehearsals. After weeks of preparing actors for the show, it's like we are presented with an incredible array of gifts, and they're all designed to make the work that you've been doing look and become even better. How could you dislike something like that?

I must say that, for the sheer volume of technical concerns that needed to be addressed with this production, this was one of the most painless tech rehearsals I've had the opportunity to attend - people were working together, had their senses of humor working overtime, and were patient to a fault.

I should also mention that we were incredibly fortunate to receive a WONDERFUl article today in The Morning Call.... please check it out if you haven't seen it already.

And so, the countdown to Opening Night on Thursday begins.... if you haven't reserved your tickets yet, I would HIGHLY recommend that you do so ASAP - they're being taken at a brisk pace as we speak.

You can either reserve online, or call the box office at 610-606-4608.

All in all, a wonderful weekend!!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

How To Build A Pool Onstage

There is little text to provide here.... simply a set of photos taking you through the process of constructing our pool for METAMORPHOSES. We've had several rehearsals in our pool, and while the current water temp. rests at a balmy 68 degrees, we now have the hot water heater rigged to the filtration system, ensuring that the water temperature will rise into the 80s... a little slice of heaven, relatively speaking.

Here, then, are the photos documenting the construction of our pool:

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Final Stages Of Dry Land Rehearsals

These may very well be some of the last "dry" pictures of the cast that we're able to post. Earlier this week, construction was completed on our pool, and photos will be arriving shortly of the water elements on stage!

Meanwhile, we continue to work hard building characters and playing with the amazing text that we've been given. What is truly exciting about MEATMORPHOSES is the agelessness of stories. While this particular script has been in existence for roughly ten years or so, the stories have been around for thousands of years.

The contemporary translation, however, allows an audience with no knowledge of mythology access to these amazing stories of humanity.

In addition to bringing these stories to life, the ensemble has spent a significant amount of time playing the physicality and expansion of the broad range of characters onstage. The cast of ten plays over 60 different roles over the course of the performance, and so it becomes vital to separate each of these characters out with different physicalities and vocal qualities - sometimes very distinct differences, and sometimes just subtle shifts.

Tonight marks our first venture into our "home onstage" - our pool is filled and ready for the cast... another post will be coming shortly!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Logo and Marketing!

As work continues onstage with the cast and production crew, there are advances taking place behind the scenes, as well.

Look for posters to begin popping up in and around the Lehigh Valley this week, in addition to a HUGE ad appearing this Thursday in the Morning Call, in the GO Guide!

In addition, we have a new website for the show, where you can find more information about the show, and you can begin reserving tickets for the show online - in all honesty, I would reserve yours sooner rather than later, as there's already a significant buzz about the show, and once the full marketing efforts begin, the tickets are going to disappear quickly - avoid the rush and take advantage of reserving online!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Our Humble Home....

... on stage, that is. Fresh from the desk of designer Roxanne Amico is the initial rendering of the set for our production of METAMORPHOSES. As we speak, this image is being constructed on stage, and chances are good that we'll be able to begin rehearsals on the set sometime next week.

We're looking forward to this, of course, for many reasons. The alternate site where we've been rehearsing is wonderful, but we haven't been able to play with the levels of the set yet, and in terms of creating pictures on stage, it's always preferable to be able to work on the actual set - soon, we'll be able to get a sense of physicality we're creating in its intended environment.

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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Everybody Into The Pool...

One of the best parts of rehearsing a show like this in a college setting is having access to a multitude of resources. In this case, we are incredibly fortunate to have access to the Rodale Aquatic Center - or the RAC as it's known on campus.

Through an arrangement with the Aquatic Center staff, we have been granted after-hours access to the pool for "aquatic rehearsals" during our process.

Our pool, being constructed for stage, is 12x16 feet and will be about 18 inches deep, which translates to about 2500 gallons of water! A large portion of the action onstage takes place in this pool of water, and so it becomes critical for the cast to work in water during the rehearsal process.

This week, we began our rehearsals in the pool at the RAC. It's an adventure, to say the least. While it is an AMAZING opportunity for the cast, it does come with some disadvantages.

As an example, the shallow side of the RAC pool is 3 1/2 feet, which is significantly deeper than the pool onstage. As such, bodies move through the water in a very different way. Gesture work and physicality which may work in the deeper water might not translate to our pool onstage.

In addition, as a director, I tend to be "hands-on" and jump on and offstage quite a bit as we experiment with staging and physicality. When we are at the pool, however, I am restricted to the side of the pool - a significant challenge.

Finally, at this point in the early stage of rehearsals, cast members are not off-book at this point, but it's obviously not possible to bring scripts into the pool. For the sake of early rehearsals, then, our production staff has been given the task of reading lines for the actors in the pool, while cast members focus on blocking and physicality.

Here's a "first-person" perspective from cast member Mike Febbo:
Well, last night was our first attempt to incorporate water into the production. Using the College's facilities, we waded our way into
the next step of (what promises to be) this extrodinary experience. My first impression was "oh, this will be easy," but as we worked through some of the physical elements of what we have already blocked, I found that the inclusion of water has its 'dip and dive' points.

The "dips" included getting to be in the water to work some of the body mechanics we discussed and the fun of taking this journey to the next level.

The only "dive" point was the depth of the water, which is higher than what we will be using [by about 2ft] so we will need to work as a team to overcome that challenge and still keep on track with blocking and production progression.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVED swimming at 9:00PM and still calling it rehearsal!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

First Readthrough

We completed casting for the show last week - a VERY large turnout for auditions, which thrilled me! The talent pool was truly remarkable, and we were able to put together a cast that has the makings of a true ensemble.

Last night, the cast gathered together for its first readthrough - as a director, it's thrilling for me to hear the words jump off the page for the "first" time. During pre-production, I read the script over and over again, both silently and aloud, to get a sense of a direction in which I might begin our collaborative journey.

But once casting is complete, and one is able to sit with the group that has been chosen to take the journey - well, that's when the sparks begin to fly, and the possibilities... the potential... all begin to materialize.

In addition to the cast, we have four beautiful movement artists who will be collaborating with us, as well. They will be joining us in our rehearsals, and then working in their own rehearsals, as well. Their goal is to assist us in interpreting the various myths onstage, to provide transitions for us on stage, and to allow us an opportunity to create an additional thread in the fabric we are creating.

And so the journey begins....

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