Thursday, June 24, 2010

Black Lights, Chicken Wire, and Hedgehogs! Oh My!

Alice In Wonderland is heating up as we begin the finishing touches and start moving into technical rehearsals. Over the past couple of days the scene shop has been finalzing some last components of the set for Alice as the stage begins to get completely painted, taking on its final look.

At this point, the scene shop interns, Hillarie and I, have been sort of doubling on the props crew as well, preparing different items used by the actors in the show. Along with Tania and Catherine, Hillarie has been at work constructing a set of flamingo croquet mallets used by the Queen and others. Meanwhile I spent Wednesday afternoon putting together a whimsical book stand used by the Knave and Duchess.

One of the last big additions to the set as we near the opening of the show is a giant tree that stands on platforming that reaches out into the house. The 9 foot+ tall structure made out of plywood templates with wood framing will set the scene for Alice at the beginning and end of the show. Over the past two days we added the foundation peices for the branches and we have begun to use chicken wire to create the form of the branches. After the chicken wire form is complete we will use fabric dipped in paint and glue to give the tree its surface and texture.

Then on Wednesday evening the designers, technicians, and other production staff (as well as a few actors), gathered in the theatre to beginning technical rehearsals for the show. After finishing the first act last night, we move into the second act this evening. I have been lucky to have the experience of working on building the show as part of the scene shop, but also to see and help all of the elements come together in production as part of the running crew. As part of the running crew I have the responsibility of moving props back stage and making sure items and actors are ready for entrances as well. One of the additional perks that Brain (our ATD), and I will be working into the show soon is the use of a couple remote controlled cars as the hedgehogs with which Alice and the others play croquet. Some of the most stunning visual elements that we have just begun to see is the addition of lighting by Dan Gallagher, using (among other things) black lights to give the space a very unique tone.

Its been exciting seeing some of the different visual and sound elements come together as we near the opening of the show, and I look forward to more as we continue into technical rehearsals this weekend!

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