Author Topic: Rip Van Winkle  (Read 2851 times)

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Rip Van Winkle
« on: Sep 25, 2007, 08:59 am »
     

So I was doing Grease (hey, everyone's gotta do it once!) in this
      wretched barn theatre in New Hampshire.  The director, last name
      Putnam, is actually a relative big shot for the company, he's done some
      stuff for Broadway, etc.  Well, he's trying to give some reality to
      the characters, not just redo the movie, but to create fully developed
      characters.  Well, it wouldn't have played in Peoria, and it
      certainly didn't play with our Artistic Director.  After the final
      run through, with 48 hours to go before opening on the first show of the
      summer season, she canned him and took over the show herself.  I
      didn't even know that he left--apparently he was informed at 1am and was
      packed up and off to Anchorage, AK by 6am.  The Artistic Director was
      a wee bit of a tyrant.  Unfortunately I was not alerted to the whole
      debacle until 8am, an hour before we were supposed to start first tech.


     

She then launched into a complete re-choreography, restaging, and
      re-harmonization of the entire show.  The entire light plot had to be
      re-hung, the pit had to be relocated, instrumentation needed to be
      rewritten, and she demanded that we locate wireless mics that would work
      in the middle of the White Mountains.  Granite mountains and radio
      waves don't mix very well.  


     

At any rate, the actors were mostly college students who got the gig
      because of the artistic director, so they didn't think to question the
      matter.  Besides, they wanted to do the movie version anyway. 
      As a tech crew, we regretted the loss, and regretted even more that tech
      rehearsals now were forced to run non-stop for the better part of the next
      two days.  We did open on time, but not before the actors managed to
      spray paint "Put Sux" on the locker unit in letters that were
      quite readable by the predominantly tourist audience.


     

Finally, after running pretty much three days straight at the theatre,
      we open.  All is going comparatively well, until the massive dance
      solo at the top of Act II.  My spot op is supposed to pick up the
      lead dancers as the ambient light faded out.  Unfortunately, the
      lights had to be at half fade before I could tell from the booth that the
      spot was on.  It wasn't.  My spot op, in an act of protest
      against the Artistic Director, had toked himself senseless preshow and
      fell asleep in the spot op booth.  Working at a company like that
      stretches time in bizarre ways...the night ended in a blur, but the summer
      seemed to go on forever.