Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Audience Arrives: Thoughts from the Artistic Director

So we have completed week one with great success! Our audiences have been fantastic and we can head into the next two weeks with our heads held high. I am very proud of the design team, the actors, our volunteers and our crew. This has been such a rewarding experience.

Audience at Saturday's performance of R & J

I decided to focus this blog on the experience of the audience. We were very fortunate with our press coverage this summer and have gotten a fantastic turn out. The turn out has been about as good as we could have hoped for in our first year. We hope we can maintain this through the next couple of weeks. Advance sales are very good for The Bluest Water and it appears people wait on good weather to commit to Romeo and Juliet. So far, the weather has been good and so have the audiences.

Audience for Sunday's performance of The Bluest Water

We also offer audiences refreshments during Romeo and Juliet. Most of the nights these concessions have been provided by the Clifford Ruritan Club. Hillary Jenkins, Ned and Lynn Kable have done an excellent job with this, even making little preprepared plates with cheese, crackers and fruit. Of course one of the most important things offered is WATER. It is a little hot at the start of the show...but things quickly cool off as the sun sets.

Ned Kable selling concessions

This year has been a challenge with handling tickets. Along with job titles like the director, the scenic designer, head of marketing and pr, treasurer, board member, house manager, and crew head...Krista and I have also been handling box office duties. Thank God for Ken Parks and his With Ken's help with have managed to sell advanced tickets online and print tickets. We still though have the responsibility of taking phone reservations and questions as well as keep the ticket sales at the door organized. With the help of Lynn Kable we have kept this moving with relative smoothness. (We almost over sold on Friday...oooops!)

Patrons wait in line for tickets in the Babcock Lobby

The action of Romeo and Juliet works its way into the audience during the show. This is a lot of fun. Endstation knows nothing of this "fourth wall" you speak of.

Michael Stablein (Romeo) runs into the audience when he first sees Juliet

Action also takes place around the audience...

Michael Stablein appears behind the audience during the action of the play (can you say...brochure photo...;) )

For The Bluest Water the audience is seated on the stage. This is important to us. The disadvantage of Babcock Auditorium is that it has a very low rake and the audience is held at a great distance from the stage. I really don't like this kind of theatre. I like a space that takes advantage of the audience and the performer sharing a space and because of this, we sat the audience on the stage.

Here you can see the audience seated ON the stage

The audience for Romeo and Juliet start in the light and end in the dark. The sun sets on the production which is a very powerful and exciting element of the show. Torches light up the space along with campus street lights.

The audience views the very end of the Romeo and Juliet

We have discovered that many of those who watch The Bluest Water stick around to meet with the cast. Many who remember the storm like to discuss the production after the show.

Audience exit at the end of The Bluest Water

We are very excited to head into Week 2 of performances. Stay tuned!

Geoffrey Kershner
Endstation Blogger and Artistic Director

1 comment:

AshleyZ said...

These pictures are fabulous. I can't wait to see!!!