Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summer Fun in the Mountains

Though this is my first summer working at the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival, I've been doing theatre for close to 16 years.  And I can finally say that I am one of the elders in a company.  Though even with that distinction, this company can still make you feel young.  I didn't know what to expect when Geoff came to me and asked if I'd be interested in being the Technical Director for the summer.  I've worked at a variety of summer theatres, but those ones had been around for quite some time.  It was exciting to think that I could work with a company that had only been putting on shows for a couple of years.  And so on that first day, I stepped into Babcock Theatre on the campus of Sweet Briar College and had my first taste of the Festival.

The entrance to Babcock Theatre.

This was also the first time I really got to talk to Krista Franco, the Scene Designer that I would be working with.  Now, I've worked with a lot of designers, and it's always an interesting relationship because designers always want the world, and technical directors always tell them that the world will be made in miniature, without Australia and Asia present, and the water drained.  But Krista has been a pleasure to work with, and her knowledge and ideas have helped to really bring along a wonderful design for Alice in Wonderland.

Also on that first day, I got the first glimpse of the scene shop.  Though smaller than some, and larger than others, it is a place that I and my crew have come to call home.  It has a certain uniqueness about it just like any other shop, but the view from the loading dock is wonderful.  As we weld our units together, the crew gets to look out on mountains and fields.  It is the most serene setting to work in when the stress starts to hit you.

Hillary and Ryan sweeping after a long day of work.

The best part of this entire experience so far is the professionalism and intelligence of those that work here.  I could not have asked for a better crew, and because of the three of them (Bryan, Ryan and Hillary) we have managed to really push through the build at a good pace and keep on time.  As an educator through the winter, it's nice to see other schools putting out knowledgeable technicians.

As we start to move towards tech, my hope is that we continue to put together quality scenery and that the shows are successful.  That's what it's about in the long run.  Putting on shows for the audience.  It's the reason I got into theatre, and it's the reason I continue to do it day in and day out.  So for one last parting shot, I'll leave you with our Scene Designer Krista Franco, and our Lighting Designer Dan Gallagher as they sit in, what I refer to as, our office.

Terry Dana Jachimiak II
Technical Director

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