Artistic director Art Rotch just spent his birthday in “tech.” I get the feeling that’s how he’d like it to be. For designers–the artists that create the world of the theatre through sound, lighting, set, paint, costume, props, and more–technical rehearsals are when everything is finally layered together in real time with the acting and movement on the stage. Art snapped some photos during tech, and generously left us some notes below about the process that we usually don’t see until it’s complete on opening night!
It’s tech week for Peter and the Starcatcher, which is the time we work through every moment of the show with the actors, sound, lighting and other designers, get used to working in the costumes and finish them off, add in the live musicians and learn their cues, and generally make all the tiny details that add up to great theatre perfect. Between figuring out two different sailing ships, a tropical island that turns into Neverland, and magic, that’s a lot of details! Fortunately Amy Altadonna and Dan Anteau, our stellar sound and lighting designers, are both talented artists who never grew up themselves, and we seem to have found a group of actors who have lots of pirate DNA already.
We were working on a section of the play where Molly and the lost boys sneak around different parts of the ship, discovering lots of strange goings on below decks in different cabins. Then Molly talked to her father using their magic amulets, which are a great prop put together by Julia Garrity , our stellar props master. And no rehearsal for this play would feel right without stars, which Dan Anteau, Matt Allar and Julia created using atmospheric lighting and very simple glowing props spread over the multi-level set. Oh yes, and then we made Molly ‘fly’. All in a nights work.
In this play, the actors become their characters as actors can do so well, but they also create an ensemble of storytellers who just love the magic of live acting, kind of like the group of actors who originally made the script together in the original production. It’s most like what Perseverance did when we put The Thirty-Nine Steps on stage a few years ago, taking a script originally made by actors with all the creative theatricality that actors love, and finding that heartbeat again with our own Alaskan gang of theatre-loving performers.