Saturday, May 22, 2010

Oh the Places You Will Go

“Oh! The Places You’ll Go”

Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

by the incomparable Dr. Seuss

No, Endstation is not doing Dr. Seuss (at least not this summer) although we are blazing trails into exciting places, that’s certain. So, it occurred to me, as I was departing Richmond, Virginia at 7:30 am to venture to Roanoke, Virginia (three hours away) to venture into the unexplored, vast unknown for costumes, that we were all going to Great Places in preparing for the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival 2010! So, this blog is not only about where I have been in preparing for costumes for this festival, but where we are all going, starting Sunday, May 23 when the Festival officially kicks off with directors, actors, directors, and interns in the exciting creative process of summer theatre with Endstation Theatre Company.

A short, but related segue --- collaboration is, for me, is a mainstay of theatre. I thrive on sharing with, creating with, working with others who have incredible ideas and vision for a production, and I love it when the circuits are overloaded (creatively, not realistically). So, as I have been messaging and talking with actors, directors, designers for The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), Alice in Wonderland, and Hamlet, the energy and excitement have been palpable! It is the joining, the convergence of all of these ideas that will create some incredible productions, and I feel fortunate to be an integral part of this incredible process.

“And when things start to happen, don’t worry. Don’t stew. Just go right along. You’ll start happening too.”

So, collaboration plays into costumes as well. We are fortunate in Lynchburg to have a theatre community that lives into collaboration. For example, for these three productions, costumes will be used from Lynchburg College, Renaissance Theatre Company, Sweet Briar College, Mill Mountain Theatre, the Academy of Fine Arts, Carolina Connection, and other businesses and individuals who contribute because they want to offer support to Endstation Theatre Company.

“You’ll look up and down streets. Look’em over with care. About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”

“And you may not find any you’ll want to go down. In that case, of course, you’ll head straight out of town. It’s opener there in the wide open air.”

Ginger Poole at Mill Mountain Theatre

The value of these contributions is tremendous, and Krista Franco with set design and Dan Gallagher on lighting design will tell you the same. The cooperation from Sweet Briar College Theatre, thanks to Bill Kershner and Cheryl Warnock and the administration is an incredible element. Terry Jachimiack from Lynchburg College is on board this year as technical director, so that is yet another collaborative piece to the puzzle, and Ken Parks, at Randolph College, handles the online ticket sales. And, this is only a small portion of the efforts – from advertising, to fundraising, to board direction…Endstation Theatre Company is a thriving and collaborative organization.

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”

And so, the Festival begins! Not only are there places we will go, but we are welcoming people who are coming from so many different places, converging for the Festival: from Virginia - Lynchburg, Richmond, Staunton; West Virginia, Illinois, Connecticut, Florida, Pennsylvania, the United Kingdom, just to name a few. And, lest we forget, there are heart-locked Endstation members who are in other places, but always with us here, in spirit!

“And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)

Kid, you’ll move mountains!
So…be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ale Van Allen O’Shea, you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!”

Destination: Sweet Briar College

Endstation: the places we will go! Come along!

Next up: The Secret Life of Clothes

Sally Parrish Southall
Endstation Costumer

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