Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Tech Update: "Affluenza!"

I am trying to be more proactive in my theater blogging this year. As we are coming up on Tech Week, and our first preview show is next week, I think now is a good time to post an update on how the preproduction work is progressing.

Major set construction is complete, and now it is down to the details. I am always amazed at what paint can do to transform the look of a set, especially a well-constructed one like this one. This set is well on its way toward looking like a rich man's pad. Kudos to the designer, our Technical Director, and the squad of carpenters.

There is little in the way of sound effects and music for this show, but we cannot dismiss their importance. I only have four transitions to work with, but I still spent several days searching through my collection, the iTunes Music Store, eMusic.com, Amazon.com, and other sources in my attempts to find the perfect compliments to the script. I laid out several options for the artistic director, far more than he needed, and he selected the winners. I'll program the cues tomorrow night so we are ready for the dry tech on Thursday.

Regarding the lighting for this production, we are right on schedule. On Saturday, Feb. 2, we struck the previous production's design and completed hanging all instruments for the new show. All of it ... in just that one day. This would not have been possible without having the lighting designer, Sue Ragusa, and some capable lighting techs, Greg and Nate, on site.

And speaking of having capable folks on site, I really have to give credit and extend thanks to the lighting crew who showed up last night. But before I do that, let me tell you why I need to give credit and thanks: For the first time in a long time, we were able to conduct a focus job in the proper manner.

It was amazing, and I mean it.

There were enough people in the space last night so we could have individuals and teams working off in succession, a board operator who brought up one instrument after another with no lag time, and a designer in the middle of it all handing out tasks and evaluating the results. This group had right balance of experience and inexperience to make it work. And Sue knew just how to work with them, striking the right balance between educating them, and doling out tasks. We colored and focused all the instruments in a matter of hours. That's it! It's done!! Sure, we are waiting on an order of supplies to arrive, but it's nothing major: just one color and two patterns.

So, a hearty round of applause and my sincere appreciation go out to Sue, Greg, Nate, David, and Alex. Your efforts have enabled this project to be well on track, and your company was greatly enjoyed.

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