Saturday, October 11, 2008

Taking Shape

It's high time for another shameless plug.

Rehearsals are well underway for "The Mystery Plays" by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa at Stillspeaking Theatre in San Marino. Director Donald Shenk is busy putting the cast (that includes me) through its paces. At this point we're still stumbling through blocking and lines. But each step feels more certain. Each line feels more like our own words. The show is taking shape.

Part of that shape is the set. Set designer Nadia Morgan and technical director Josh Coleman were in the theatre last night, starting to put it together. I've seen a mock-up and it looks great. It's innovative, unique. I won't describe it; hopefully I'll bring you a photo of it when it's ready.

I can't wait to inhabit that set. When you get on the set and it looks like something, the excitement starts to build and you begin to itch for an audience.

You guessed it: Nadia and Josh are also the building crew. Here's Nadia, putting the beginning touches on the Mystery.


Benjamin Madison said...

Petrea, thanks so much for taking us inside this experience that is so unknown to most of us.

Dina said...

Thanks for taking us on this journey of the play preparation. It's getting exciting.
I read about your Stillspeaking Theatre and love the idea of it.

Petrea said...

It's a pleasure to be able to share this process. The cast, crew and director are happy to go along with my picture-taking. I'm supposed to be actually rehearsing while I"m there so I can't do too much of it. And I don't want to just fill the blog with rehearsal shots. But if you want more I'm happy to bring more.

Dina, you know me, I thought I was going to be a fish out of water there. But the theatre has a contemporary mission, and is open to even my non-religious ideas. Imagine that!

Ted Thompson said...

Seeing that angle (bars, lights, wires) sure brings back memories...

Is the Theater new? This appears to be an application of the customary flat black found backstage - it looks like this upcoming performance would be it's first?

Laurie said...

Oh, thanks for this Petrea! As a former drama kid, these stage shots really warm my heart.

Why not load up Overdog with others? :-)

Can't wait to see you in this play. What character do you play?

Bernie K. said...

Shades of another stage-act

West Coast Grrlie Blather said...

Shameless plugs are an essential part of life. Can't wait to see the finished product!

marley said...

Can't wait to see more. Its exciting!

Petrea said...

Ted, the theatre is in a relatively modern space adjacent to a church. As for the flat black, by the time I got there this afternoon that had been painted over with lavender hues, giving it a depth that made it look like you could travel into the distance. This change in less than a few hours.

Laurie: I'll do that, thanks for the idea!

Bernie, you always find something fun.

Grrl: that's at least true of an actor's life...

Thank you, Marley, I shall oblige.

Barbara said...

Sounds like the set will be suitably "Creepy"!

USelaine said...

This is a great detail to isolate, considering all that must go into a production by so many specialists. Don't be shy about posting more.

Virginia said...

I thought of you today as I got a special tour of our Children's Theater. I am taking some photos for them and will use some to publicize their efforts on my blog as well. Fascinating! Can't wait to go back. Want to see more about your play as well>

Christie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christie said...

Sounds like fun! You'll have to have a video taken that you can post to the web sometime so that all of us can watch you perform from afar. I would love to see it, but Pasadena's a little too far away..

Life Observer said...

Berry interesting interior design pix. More of these insider pix, indeed.

P, I'm not surprised this theatre is open even 2 de non-religious. That’s part of their mission.
It's 1 of de big divisive myths, keeping the irreligious & religious too far apart. The popular media helps perpetuate that false notion. Creativity & the arts have always been a part of the church, at least the Christian.
I find the religious are very open 2 discussion of the big issues of life & not interested only in their own views - ask Ben W & his fellow intellectuals. We should not feel threatened, or make others feel uncomfortable, when opinions are expressed unlike our own. The irreligious & religious are tires both needed to keep discussion driving toward the search for truth & meaning. Plus, the theatre can be a road for that expression of search & openness.

Now, for the religious denominations called Repubs & Demos – true believers. The greatest religions of power, manipulation, control, & money making.

Now for another really big issue: Petrea, I hope you can tell me something about de San Marino Grill on de southside of Huntington, a 1 minute walk west of your theatre? Looks interesting, but always wanting 2 try 1 day.

Ms M said...

Exciting to hear how things are coming together for the play. And I'll enjoy reading more of your observations, learning more about it all.

Ted Thompson said...

So the stage ceiling and walls are a part of the set? Or rather can be seen by the audience?

Of course I only teched in one place, but we had teasers, tormentors, and backdrop so I made an assumption.

Dina said...

Re your comment answer:
Well, I would hope so! Sure.

Petrea said...

Hi Barbara, welcome! "Creepy" maybe be what they're going for, or at least "dark and mysterious."

Thanks, usE. In a small theatre like this, one person may have to specialize in many things. I'll post as much as I can without boring y'all.

Sounds like fun, Virginia! You seem to have your finger on the pulse of the Birmingham arts scene.

Christie, I'd say it's too far to go to see a play, unless Shakespeare himself were performing in it. I'd go any distance for that.

Nicely stated, L.O. Perhaps I've been put off by the radical right lately, suffering a prejudice of my own as a result. I know a slew of liberal Christians who accept me as I am.
You've given me a mission: San Marino Grill. I'm on it.

More coming, Ms M.

Ted: walls and ceiling will be seen. No curtains in this theatre that I'm aware of.

Dina: see my response to Life Observer. You would say "Of course" because you're the kind of person who's open to ideas, backgrounds and opinions of others. However in American politics, the radical Christian right has been giving Christians a bad name lately by trying to turn their beliefs into legislation, in a country that was founded on the separation of church and state. I, personally, have reacted with revulsion, and have been careful to avoid setting foot in, or donating to, such churches. However, as L.O. pointed out, there are plenty of Christians in America who do the good work, based on what Christ originally taught.
So yes, you would hope so! But one has to make sure.

dina said...

OK, yes, I see. I'm glad you are making sure. It is a problem.
One reason I'm glad to be living here and not there.