Friday, February 5, 2010

A Duck’s Eye View of PETER & THE WOLF Tech Week

Actress Gia Mora shares thoughts on tech week for Peter & The Wolf:

An actor’s definition of technical rehearsals:

When the safety of the well lit, costume-free rehearsal hall atmosphere disappears, and the process of bringing a show to life leaves the actor’s grasp and is hurled forward in giant leaps by the seasoned hands of the artistic and technical staff of the theatre.

No wonder so many of us find this time terrifying!

Luckily for me this process of letting the other elements of Peter blossom offered ample opportunity for me to endow my puppet, Duck, with a soul.

Patty, as I call her, started as a cardboard mockup--light weight, footless, and blind as a... well, duck with no eyes. Thanks to our incredible puppets/prop mistress Dre, this creature morphed into a much heavier styrofoam and papier mache version of herself. Dre added waddling little legs, wings to help Patty fly, and wiggling feathers for Patty’s shakes and shimmies. Day by day she grew into the amazing hen we see today--eyelashes and all!

Having never worked with large puppets like this (I did a bit of puppeteering in The Araboolies of Liberty Street at Imagination Stage a couple of years ago), I had no idea what a work out I was in for! My shoulders, my hands, my knees. I was sore from top to bottom. This became especially true when Patty’s lighted pond appeared downstage left, hovering between the lip of the thrust... and the three steps leading into the house. After this show I think I will have quadriceps of steel!

It is always a pleasure to come play at Imagination Stage because the production values here are so high. The artistic, technical, and administrative staff, helmed by stage manager Kristen, ensure that every show exceeds the standard expectations of theatre for young audiences, from lights to sound to costumes. I’m sure the kids and parents will enjoy the show as much as I do!

--Gia Mora

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