Rob’s “hell week” begins…The set is installed

For most involved in a production, hell week begins the weekend or so prior to the show’s opening, when we begin putting all of the tech together with costumes, on a finished set, etc.  My “hell week” always begins with load-in and becomes a mad dash leading up to opening night. The past week was the usual scramble, finishing up the last of the set components to prepare for load-in.  We had some warm weather early in the week and I took advantage of those couple of days to spend some daytime hours in the shop.  After last weekend’s big building blitz (I love alliteration), I had the mine and platform facings to finish.  (more…)

The art studio is in “ruins”…

Over the weekend, we began building like mad.  Saturday, Richard met me about 10 and we worked until 3.  First item on the agenda were to make columns.  I had ordered 12′ long, 12″ in diameter sonotube concrete forms.  They are a coated, heavy cardboard tube that are used to make concrete piers.  At Home Depot, you can get them 4′ long and I have used those before, but you end up with seams across your columns and there is no good way to join them together to make longer columns.  And actually, a 12′ runs about $30 while a 4′ is $10, so the price is the same.  The caveat is that you have to plan ahead and order them shipped to the store. Once they arrive at the store, you have to have a way to transport 12′ long items.  Fortunately, Larry had left his trailer at the scenic shop for me to fill with wood scraps so I could use it.

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Getting all Greek

So, it has been a stupid long time since my last post.  Let’s just say that, for the last 6 months, my job status didn’t leave much time for creativity or blogging.  But, now that is done, I am back on track.

Starting “Zorba,” I really didn’t know the show, but love Kander and Ebb and respect their work. Even though it is an early one, I was confident that it was a decently crafted script and I have been looking forward to it.  Of course…  “Zorba” is an old show, like as old as I am. It predates the structural revolution of musical theater that really took hold in the 1970’s. (more…)

What a CRAZY month!

57b37e38d4c36.imageI closed Atomic at New Line Theatre on Jun 25, struck the show on June 26, and at 5AM in June 27 was on a plane for 3 weeks in Europe and NYC…   I landed back in St. Louis on Friday, July 15 and Saturday morning, I was at Stray Dog Theatre, starting the mad dash to finish the set for Bat Boy which went into tech just two weeks later.  The following Saturday was load-in day at New Line for the new fourth show of the season, “Tell Me On A Sunday”. For that one, I had committed to designing and executing both set AND lights.

It was a mad dash to get them both done by the first week in August… (more…)

Sometimes, you just gotta make it…

So, the past week or so I have been focused on getting “And Then There Were None” on stage and then struck at Thomas Jefferson School.  All in all, it went great and the kids did an awesome job.  I couldn’t be prouder and neither could they.IMG_0346

In addition, at New Line, last Saturday we hung and focused lights. This was my first time to do lights in the Marcelle because Ken has lit the last three New Line shows.  I suspected that it would be easier than lighting a show at Wash U South because the fixed seating and no catwalks above meant moving an extension ladder around and working it into the rows of seats. In addition, WUS was not cabled for DMX and did not have auxiliary power outlets scattered in the grid…lessons that I used when planning the Marcelle.  That used to take hours just cabling.  We finished all of the the hang, cabling, and focus in just 6 hours at the Marcelle!  What a difference.  Plus, we were able to hang 2/3’s of it from scaffold rolling on the stage. The remaining 1/3 we could reach from a step ladder by moving one row of stack chairs!   (more…)

And we are loaded…

Yea, it’s not the way it sounds…

This weekend, we loaded two shows in two days.  On Friday, I loaded the set for “And Then There Were None” and Thomas Jefferson School.  While there is still plenty to do before it opens, they have a set to rehearse on this afternoon.

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Last Thursday afternoon, Larry, Gary and I took a large load on stuff to the Marcelle and stashed it in the green room since it was a nice day. The pieces for the bar were pretty good size and I was not certain that they would fit through the front door.  By loading it on Thursday afternoon, I could have the dock readily available should I need it to get one or more pieces in.  Fortunately, even the front bar, which is the biggest piece just fit with less than an inch to spare.

Saturday, Kate, Melanie, Patrick, Patrick’s daughter Lydia and girlfriend Shelly, Kathleen, Richard, Paul and I loaded in and completely installed the set for “Atomic” at New Line.   (more…)