Saturday, September 15, 2007

Taming of the Shrew

The BSC blog site is transitioning to our work this fall. Next week, Miss Julie to the campus community. We're excited about sharing our work with the campus and Birmingham community.

In addition, we've just assembled our company for Taming of the Shrew, which is set in the 1960s. Co-Costume Designers Patti Manning (BSC Costume Designer in Residence) and Nikki Craft (Senior Theatre Major) have been planning their look for the characters of the play for some time. The 1960s is richly diverse in its possibilities, as you can imagine. Conservative suits and narrow ties contrast loudly with bold colors, flared jeans, love beads aplenty. Our "look" has not been set as yet, but the landscape of possiblities is bright indeed!

Professor Matthew Mielke (Scenic Designer) explores the space using a famous Los Angeles destination as inspiration for color, line and atmosphere--the famous Whiskey a Go Go. Well, famous to lots of folks, but neither Matthew nor I had heard of it until now!

We envision the scenic design to extend far beyond the stage itself--the lobby luminous with 60s posters, lighting, music and actors dancing to rockin' tunes. Leslie Brown, Assistant Director, is borrowing her family 60s "bug," which will be the centerpiece of our design outside the theatre itself.

The creation of our idea will require the collaboration of over 44 student company members--including a signifant core of students who are involved in building scenery, working as lighting technicians, responding to call in the box office, and much more. Leslie, Nikki (also serving as Fight Director), Company Manager Christina Johnson, Stage Manager Sarah Schiesz, Choreographer Barclee Woods, and faculty/staff will work closely as team members to support the production process. Music will serve as a vital character in the play. Theatre Major Michael Seward is at the helm, researching and assembling this critical aspect of our production.

Over the weeks, you will hear from other company members, such as Matt Adams (playing Gremio) and Ginny Coats (playing Biondella), and doubtless additonal student company members. So much of creating art is all about teamwork and problem solving within the broad context of technical theatre, performance, and management. Theatre provides loads of opportunity to develop a breadth of skill in a wide variety of areas.

Perhaps the most satisfying part of our work is the chance to collaborate together--we're really a community of explorers. What we will discover as a company will reflect untold hours of "going to the wall," challenging ourselves to get as bold and specific as we can. As a community of theatrical adventurers, we'll go far beyond what we can as individuals. It's part of the magic I think--in our goal to create an event that transcends the earth-bound. Ah, perhaps I seem too lofty here. But, that's the challenge--to reinvent a play, truly reinvent theatre each time we go into the "empty space" (as Peter Brook put it). More soon!


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