3 Months of Play-Making

Last night Brennan Murphy, the undergraduate researcher with our office, and I were part of the first night’s rehearsal of  Caryl Churchill‘s Cloud 9. Under the guidance of director Rob Heller, designers Andrea Ball (scenic), Carrie Barton (lighting), and Derek Jones (sound) shared their designs and approaches to the production. Brennan and I discussed Churchill’s career, her influence on modern theatre, the various British entanglements in Southern Africa in the latter part of the 19th century, and the “Troubles” between the UK and Northern Ireland. Brennan then guided the cast through his glossary of terms used in the play, and then the cast took over and read Cloud 9. It was the beginning of a week of table work, vocal work, and physical study, and it’s all off to a good start. The play opens December 6 in the Wells-Metz.

Tennessee Williams‘s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, meanwhile, continues its rehearsals in the Acting Studio under the direction of guest artist Marti Maraden. The production will serve as the M.F.A. thesis project for lighting designer Lee Burckes and for actors Andrea Mellos and Clayton Gerrard. Williams’s great drama opens on November 8 in the Ruth N. Halls Theatre.

We open our next production, Bob Fosse, John Kander, and Fred Ebb‘s Chicago, on October 25 in the Wells-Metz Theatre. Directed and choreographed by George Pinney with musical direction by Terry LaBolt, the cast has moved from the rehearsal hall and into the performance space.

Scenic designer Chris Rhoton‘s set for Chicago is nearing completion. Here you can see his rendering, a view of the stage from the balcony, and a similar view of the house from backstage. The “C-shell,” which will hang over the upstage area and the orchestra, is still in the scenic studio, going through its finishing touches.

Chris Rhoton. Rendering for scenic design: CHICAGO

Chris Rhoton. Rendering for scenic design: CHICAGO

View of the main performance space: CHICAGO

View of the main performance space: CHICAGO

CHICAGO: Backstage view

CHICAGO: Backstage view

The "C" Shell is still under construction in the studio.

The “C” Shell is still under construction in the studio.

If you already have tickets to Chicago, plan carefully: there is hardly room to maneuver in exchanging tickets for another performance, for the entire run of Chicago is virtually sold out.

If you do not have tickets, well, there may be some available on the evening or afternoon of a show, if someone has notified us that they won’t be able to attend. Come early, stand in line for the possibility that some turned-in tickets may be put on sale, but be prepared to be disappointed.

(Did we ever tell you about the advantages of subscribing to our season?)

—Tom Shafer

About IU Theatre Department

Welcome to the 7th & Jordan blog. This blog is a peek behind the curtain at the productions and people at Indiana University's Department of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance.
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