Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Zomo Promo

Greetings, Imagination Stage blog community! With the run of Zomo the Rabbit: A Hip-Hop Creation Myth in full swing, I'm hoping most of you have had a chance to view our preview/promotion video. If not, here's your chance!

As a part of the promotional video production team, it has been an absolute joy and honor to speak with such special, talented actors/directors/choreographers/stars! Creating this promotional video was no different.

Unlike past promotional videos, however, we were able to capture a number of different scenes live on stage - the energy from the cast, crew, and most importantly, the audience, gave me goosebumps...even from behind the camera!

Don't miss out on this special Winter World Premiere - there are just a couple weeks left!

Happy February,

Andrew Gordon
Marketing Associate

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lighting Design and Technical Fun in BUSYTOWN

Hi – I’m Jason Arnold, the lighting designer for BUSYTOWN at Imagination Stage. We’re in tech right now – the beginning of the first 10 out of 12 rehearsal. A 10 out of 12 rehearsal is one where the actors are called for a 10 hours – 5 hours onstage, then a 2 hour dinner break, then 5 more hours onstage. We use this time to build the light cues, test the mics, practice the costume changes, and generally put the show together.

It’s been a hectic week for me – Monday and Tuesday, we focused the lights. When I say “we” I mean I stood onstage and told the electrics crew at Imagination Stage (Robert Brown – the Master Electrician – Cory Frank and Nikki Cammack) where to point the lights, as they scurried up scaffolding and ladders and drove the genie lift around. That went pretty smoothly, until we got upstage, where the majority of Tom Donahoe’s cool set resides – then we spent hours moving the set around so that “we” could reach the lights, hanging 20 feet in the air above.

Wednesday – The actors hit the stage for the first time. They spent the first couple of hours in Costume Parade – where the Director (Krissie Marty), the Costume Designer (Yvette Ryan), and Costume Shop Manager (Marietta Hambrick) watch the actors play runway models with Yvette’s crazy fun costumes. They check all the different changes and combinations and make sure that it all fits (both fits the actors properly and fits the characters properly).

After Costume Parade – Krissie begins working through the show, and I start writing light cues. But really, I sit and watch. I absorb the show through osmosis. And I give notes to Robert, a lot of notes. Normally – on the first day of tech, you start writing light cues and plowing through the show. They run a slightly different schedule here at Imagination Stage. A day of spacing, getting the actors used to the size of the stage and giving the director time to work. And giving me time to watch and tinker with the lights without any pressure to create anything specific.

But it also gives me time to think. And change things. And give Robert work to do. Lots of work because I’m antsy and bored and coming up with new ideas and why is the downstage front light so much dimmer than the upstage (Robert – relamp those units, please).

So we spend a day and a half spacing and looking and thinking and then tech actually starts at 5:30p on Thursday. And we spend 2.5 hours working the first 4 pages of the script.

And now it is 12:30p on Friday – we have now teched for approximately 4.5 hours and are on page 8. And I have written about 50 light cues. The show starts with 2 big musical numbers back to back. And then the parade of cars starts. That’s where we are now, working a parade of cars – Richard Scarry loves to draw crazy cars and we’ve got them – but that’s not my job, phew – that’s the purview of Dre Moore, our Props Mistress, Tom Donahoe, our set designer, and George DeShetler, our Technical Director.

And that’s only half of my crazy life – I also teach at American University twice a week. And I’ve got three other theatres clamoring for the paperwork for the shows I’m doing for them, so I’ve been up late every night putting those together (coming soon – Intelligence at Rep Stage and Honey Brown Eyes at Theatre J). And I actually have to leave before this show opens, to go to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival on Monday to tech 3 Mo’ Divas (a show that was at Arena Stage in 2006).

So that’s life in BUSYTWON.


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