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July 29, 2007

Last show

Cast and Crew

Cast and Crew

    Today was our last show.  After the curtain call, my work began.  The entire set needed to come down and it's individual parts returned to storage.  We took a group picture at 4:30pm and then started to strike the set.  By 6:15pm, everything was finished.  Deconstruction consisted primarily of unscrewing drywall screws.  Elizabeth, the other dedicated stage hand, and I both grabbed electric drills and went to work.  My plans was to first move all the props off the set.  To help speed that up, I pulled up all the legs and curtains up and removed one flat from the rear wall.  This left a clear path stright to the backroom.  We used the props table to hold small items and the main path in the shop to hold large items.  Elizabeth and I kept a steady stream of of items flowing into the back room, and the rest of the cast saw that it found it's way into storage.  Once the stage was clear of props, unscrewing began.  The bed frame needed to come apart, the chair rail removed and all then the flats could be unhinged.  It worked out pretty good having two people unscrew things and a couple of the cast hulling off parts.  Once the set was down, the door and window frame braces needed to be disassembled.  I screwed the doors shut for storage--makes it easier to move them around.  Then I dropped the lighting battons and removed the fresnels and put them back on the storage strip.  A quick sweep of the stage and letting down the legs and curtains and everything was done. 
    This play was a lot of fun to work on.  The cast really great and did a superb job all four performances.  They were also quote patient with me, especially as I introduced sound cues (and messed most of them up).  I'd like to thank Gene, the director, for giving me the opportunity to work on this project and allowing me the creative freedom to really play with it.  And a thanks to everyone else who helped turn a bare stage into a warm bedroom.
    Pictured is the cast and crew.  Front row: Andrew Que, Brad, Gene.  Second row: Elizabeth, Amy, Robin, Jake.  Third row: Nick, Mike, Kristin and Miranda.

1 comment has been made.

From Liz (

WI84 airport

August 03, 2007 at 12:56 AM

dedicated and sick :) and for future referance, I never sit out of group photos even if I was having a quick lay down right before. What did you do with the window? trash it or break it more

July 28, 2007

Night three

Set for

Set for "It's Only a Play"

    I took a tally of lighting interments I used to illuminate the stage for this production. Fully lite, I have over 25,000 watts of light available. Most of the interments sit between 50 and 75%, so I estimate there is about 15,750 watts hitting the stage. The show runs about two hours, so it costs about $3.15 in electricity each rehearsal--2 1/2 cents a second.
    This lighting setup is tinny when compared to Hair. I must have had over 50,000 watts of lighting available. Alas, I kept track not.
    Pictured is our set, dressed, lite and ready for the evening's performance.

July 26, 2007

Opening night



    The night we've all been gearing up for has arrived--opening night.  Never satisfied, I decided to put the glass back in the sound booth and use the overhead speaker like I had in the one-acts and Hair.  The mixer is a 4-bus, but can be used like a 6-bus if none of the buses send to the right and left channels.  Since all the sound cues went to buses 1 through 4, the right and left channels basically became bus 5 and 6.  I placed the 4 house microphones on bus 5-6 and ran that to the overhead speaker in the sound booth. 
    The advantage was being able to whisper back and forth without worrying about the audience being able to hear.  We could also use the hand-held radios, which is a little easier then the headsets.  The headsets make it hard to hear what is happening on stage.  Te hand-held radio can just be placed at a low volume and set close.  With the windows closed, there is no risk of the sound escaping to the house.
    Tonight went fairly flawless.  Just seems like there is something about an audience that gets everything to fall into place and the cast really had it together tonight.  One down, 3 to go.
    Dress rehearsal this evening.  Unfortunately, I had class that I couldn't miss.  So showed up mid way through act two.  Elizabeth took control of the sound and light cues.  She's pictured here with the light board in the foreground.
    The control room ready for the place.  On the right is the laptop I'm using with the sound cue program ready to go.  The school has two 4-bus mixers.  I'm using one of the mixers to run sound for the show.  I have four speakers setup.  Standard left and right house speakers.  The left house speaker is close to the door on stage right and is used for sounds that come from "downstairs".  The right house speaker is close to a television and covers those sound cues.  Two monitors are placed backstage.  One behind the window, which covers telephones and the breaking glass sound effect.  The other is behind the "bathroom" door and used for the barking dog.  There are two amplifiers and I use one to push the house speakers and the other for the monitors.  Bus 1 and 2 feed the house speakers, while bus 3 and 4 feed the monitors.  The only downfall is that the computer only has two outputs.  So the sound operator must switch buses depending on the sound cue.  Other then that, the system works great.
    This picture was taken by Elizabeth.  The set calls for a broken window, and so I need to make one.  Elizabeth, an other person helping with set construction, found an old window the donated to us--and I broke it. 
    In the play, the window is broken by a snowball.  I wanted a broken window with enough glass in it to be a noticeable broken window, and missing enough glass to throw a second snowball through.  Having been part of the Garage Crowd for 11 years, I have worked with a lot of broken windows.  To get the effect I wanted, I lined the edges of the window frame with a heavy layer of calk.  I let this dry for 24 hours and then took a swing at the window.  The calk held most of the glass at the edges in place.  I screwed this window frame behind the prop window frame, Elizabeth gave it some paint and it turned out quite nice.
    Thus begins my decent into my research papers.  I plan on devoting the weekend to my 10-page paper on religion in government.
    Pictured is spray from a field irrigation system.