Last week (June 6-12) was a busy one, and I’m just now catching up. Here are some of the things that happened in the Department of Theatre and Drama as we prepared and rehearsed The Music Man and students worked through the final weeks of first summer session. Here are some of the things that happened in these seven days.
Combat with Broadswords. For much of the first session, Professor Adam Noble worked with ten individuals on a daily basis, training them in theatrically effective and safe stage combat with broadswords. The students were Kelly Glyptis, Mark Kamie, Tyler Gordon, Matt Herndon, Gerard Pauwels, Peter Scafe, Henry A. McDaniel III, Macaulay Richards, Patrick Kelly, and Sean McCarther, and at 1:00 on June 6, the first day off for the acting company in the ITF, the class offered a public demonstration of their work in the acting studio. The presentations were made up of dialogue from five different scenes in which the action of the scenes resulted in broadsword combat. (Quick: name five different plays where that is part of the dramatic structure!*) Let’s just say that during the demonstration, the testosterone was at a higher-than-usual level in the room.
The half-hour “show” was also their skills proficiency test in Broadsword for Performance, for the students were judged by Chuck Coyl, the president of the Society of American Fight Directors. All students passed, I’m pleased to say. Mr. Coyl, reports Adam, “was very happy with the caliber of the work.” Following the public presentation, the students enjoyed a master class in broadsword, taught by Chuck Coyl.
Here is a video of Henry McDaniel and Macaulay Richards’s scene from The Thirteenth Warrior.
The photos and the video were taken by James Barrow. (Thanks, James!)
*Henry IV, 1; King Lear; Kingdom of Heaven; The Thirteenth Warrior; Game of Thrones were the plays employed in the presentation.
Lighting The Music Man. On the week of June 6 the lighting staff began hanging and focusing instruments to realize Chris Wood’s lighting design for the opening show of the Indiana Festival Theatre. I took this photo when they were “marrying the line,” solidly attaching Line 2, which usually hangs independently, to the lighting bridge. The bridge, although it can be raised and lowered (as in the photo) “lives” above the proscenium arch, hidden from view of the audience. It is the location of the lighting instruments used to provide front light to the upstage area and to provide top light for actors downstage. The bridge is heavy, solid, and secure. A picture of the first light bridge, invented by the actress Maude Adams (who originated the role of Peter Pan in America in 1906), is shown in this New York Times article from 1908.
Like I said, Line 2, which is a batten just upstage of the light bridge, usually hangs independently. But Chris Wood’s design calls for some remote controlled moving lights to be secured to Line 2, and their movement would end up being shared by the pipe itself. The solution is to attach Line 2 to the more secure bridge, and that is exactly what the lighting staff is doing here, as they end their first day of work.