Monday, February 29, 2016

Week Eight: Everything is Great!

Week eight has come and gone in a blur for the company of Rep Term XVII. With Tech week coming to a close for The Secret in the Wings on Wednesday, February 24 with our last dress, and on Thursday, February 25 with a dress rehearsal for Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere the morning before opening that night, the students are feeling a bit tired. Despite the late nights, long rehearsals, and a bit of stumbling, nothing has been more rewarding than opening night. We have worked hard and we have been rewarded!

Designers, the scene shop, the costume shop, and artists of all kinds have been staying anywhere from midnight to three a.m. to finish work on sets and to practice any glitches in our backstage work. While all of this is happening the students are either running lines, or belting to their favorite songs. Now that everything is done and ready, we could not be more proud of the shows of Rep Term XVII.

By ending week eight with two performances of each show, there is only three more chances to see either performance! As we roll into week nine there's nothing stopping Rep Term XVII from giving you the shows of a lifetime!

Brady Comenduley
ASM The Secret in the Wings 
Crew Chief of Social Media

The first tech rehearsal for The Secret in the Wings. 

 Craig Choma testing the fog machines.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere Trailer

The trailer for Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is here! Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric and directed by Liz Carlin-Metz Come celebrate Rep Term XVII February 25 - March 5!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Secret in the Wings Trailer

Here's a trailer for The Secret in the Wings written by Mary Zimmerman, and directed by Jeff Grace.

Week Seven: Tech Heaven

We've made it! Week seven that means it's time for tech! The company of Rep Term XVII is hard at work getting the shows performance ready. This week has been cue-to-cue, when cast and crew for each show build all of the technical elements of the show, for each show, and after a few rehearsals we will be ready for opening night!

Opening night for Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere is Thursday, February 25 and opening night for The Secret in the Wings is Friday, February 26. The shows have never looked better. Student co-lighting designer, Sophie Click, has been working hard to bring the sets to life. She's been working on rigging and lighting since her Freshman year of high school and has been passionate about lighting ever since.

Cue-to-cue isn't a glamorous job for anyone. Actors have to stand on stage for ages waiting for cues to be built, and they run the same moments over and over until it's just right. Designers, are frantically making the world the actors live in, and building that world takes time. Now that the cues are built, it's up the the stage management team for the run to run smoothly. During rehearsal it's the director's show, during tech it's the stage manager's, and during performances it belongs to the actors.

We're ready for opening this week! See you guys soon!

Brady Comenduley
ASM The Secret in the Wings
Crew Chief Social Media

Theresa Murphy playing The Princess Who Wouldn't Laugh.

 Martha Brown taking a break from painting.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

It's Tech Week!

It’s no secret (pun absolutely intended) that not a single person is safe from tech week. The trick is in seeing how much you can harness the stress and pain and misery into doing great things for the progression of both productions! Happy times, happy times! The cast of  The Secret in the Wings are standing for hours under hot lights, and repeating the same line over and over to ensure the proper setting of the lighting cue. In the meantime, the  rest of the company is pounding, dragging, splashing and slashing the Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere set into it’s proper place. And let me tell you, it is coming along!

There are times where I unfailingly believe that we’ve all bit off more than we can chew as far as completing the set and compiling all the props and costumes, but then I take a water break, and walk back into Harbach, I unfailing do a double take at the amazing thing we’ve created. With our own two hands, mind you! It’s a lot, but every hour we come closer to completing one of the most elaborate and grandest sets in Knox’s history and that feels amazing to be a part of.

With Secret wrapping up it's cue-to-cue and tech rehearsals today, the company gears up for Neverwhere's cue to cue on Saturday. I took a peek at the sound cues on Dakota’s, our sound designer’s, computer. There were over 100 of them. I asked if that was a big number and he said he usually works on show that have a little over 20, SO, that’ll be a blast and a half incorporating into the show. If we thought that the set was a lot to take on, I don’t think any of us are mentally prepared for the focus and stamina that will be necessary for a productive cue to cue. We just have to remember, that we love this. We choose this. And it will absolutely be worth it. Come see RepTerm! We deserve an audience after all this hard work...

and tech week, hit me with your best shot!

Martha Brown
Door...Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

Director, Liz Carlin-Metz, and Assistant Director, Niki Acton, watch a Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, rehearsal unfold.

 Liz teaches the cast of Neverwhere a few moves.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week Six: Full of Tricks

Things are really starting to kick into high gear as we approach the beginning of tech for both shows. This Wednesday, The Secret in the Wings starts their cue to cue, which is where the production goes through the entire show figuring out all of the different technical cues; this includes different cues for lighting and sound, as well as transitions between scenes- working with props and figuring out costume changes. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere begins tech rehearsals on Friday.

All of the different crews are working towards finishing up their various tasks so that all different aspects of the show can be ready for technical and dress rehearsals. The Secret in the Wings is almost all wrapped up and ready. Costume crew chief, Ren Barkey and Props crew chief, Trevor Marshall, were happy to report that there were just smaller tasks to be finished up. We now have lots of extra hands now moving over to help out with Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. One of the biggest priorities right now is getting that set done!

Now that our poster designs are all finished, we’re just waiting to get them printed so we can start hanging them up all over campus and around town. The publicity crews are now focusing a lot of energy on campus and community outreach and spreading the word about our shows!

Sammie Zimmay
Sylvia and Ensemble Member... Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere 

 Padraig Sullivan and Olivia Theil work on the beast for Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

 Ian Tully laying down masonite on our platforms.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Checking In: Lighting

Suddenly the Rep Term XVII company is in the week before tech. Everything has been moving at the speed of light including the busy bodies on the lighting crew. In the past week and a half the lovely ladies and gents of the lighting crews have managed to finish the hang in Harbach which is no easy task especially when moving those heavy cells necessary to illuminate the cyc (the big and expensive hanging piece of fabric on the stage in Harbach that catches light.) 

Most of this week has been spent up in the totally stable but still scary looking cats in Studio Theater getting the lights hung for The Secret in the Wings. Niki Acton, Master Electrician for Secret, is excited to be moving onto gelling (adding color filters) and focusing the instruments. By tech next week, the lighting designs of Sophie Click and Craig Choma will be brought to life on stage.

Outside of the theater spaces, the production teams are having their paper techs this week. Paper tech is when the designers, directors and stage managers gather with their scripts to record all the cues necessary for the plays including the numerous lighting cues. The Secret in the Wings currently has over 100 light cues! The shows are really starting to come together on paper and in real life, and we couldn't be more excited as a company.

Caroline Foulk
ASM Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere 

Lights hanging from Harbach grid.


The Rep Term XVII posters are complete! The Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere poster was created by Katie Greve and The Secret in the Wings poster was created by Sammie Zimay. The shows are just around the corner and we can't wait to open the shows for you!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week Five: We're Still Alive

The nature of theatre is collaborative, which means that everyone must work together for the final product to bloom. Due to this collaborative nature, some crews must finish their work before another can begin theirs. Videography, scenic painting, and Beast construction are three crews that started ramping up their efforts in week five.

Tristan Yi, crew chief of videography for Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, began work on videography for the show. He has about fifteen major videography effects that have to be filmed, created, and/or edited to fit the show. Videography is a tedious project and Tristan has about two weeks to get it all done. Luckily, he is no longer alone: two people joined his crew this week to aid in the show’s videographic endeavours. Based on what I’ve seen, the videography will no doubt add an exhilarating touch to an already exciting show.

Emma Lister, the scenic painting crew chief, was very excited to start painting the set this past week. She finally got to start to paint the flats for The Secret in the Wings set, and this week she will be working on more detailed scenic painting for both shows. Emma was also a member of the Beast crew this past week.

Wait. Beast? What is this “Beast” I speak of? The Beast is an enormous boar-like puppet designed by Beast construction crew chief Olivia Thiel, built by her and other members of her crew. The puppet will be operated by members of the ensemble in Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Olivia finished the head of the Beast this week, and is thrilled to finish the rest of the body. We can’t wait for you to see our beastly creations!

Jordan Hurst
Hunter... Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
Theatre Secretary 

Tristan Yi editing video in Adobe Premiere. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Checking In: Scenic Painting

Now that the scene shop has filled Harbach and Studio Theatre with the looming skeletons of sets, the members of the scenic painting crew have begun to show their true forms as paint-splattered warriors during crew time as they coat flats in smooth layers of paint. Amidst the roar of saws, their slick paint rollers transform crude flats into neat walls, and slowly and surely they begin to bring the worlds of our two shows to life.

While hard at work on walls-to-be in Harbach theatre, scenic artists Theresa Murphy, Emma Lister, and Danielle Freeman look through the flats as they work, checking diligently for drips of paint and missed spots, talking just loud enough to be heard over the scene shop music. They speak hopefully of the days to come when their work will expand to include plastering those same walls with posters. They envision mosaics and intricate maps of the London Underground, and vow to work tirelessly day and night (even Sundays!) to make their dreams come to glorious fruition.

After the last of the flats is done, these artistic geniuses retire to the lively world of the scene shop to take their turns bending over the sink to wash out their rollers. Their work today is done--but as the days progress and tech week draws ever nearer we hope to see these warriors more and more as they are called into action to give our sets life.

Amalia Hertel
Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere... Ensemble Member

Flats for Neverwhere  get a first coat of paint.

 Crew Chief, Emma Lister, returns excess paint to its tub.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Checking In: Props

The properties crew for Rep Term may be the only crew that might run out of things to do, but even that is a huge “might.” Earlier this term, the props crew had to move from the second-floor design studio to an underground storage space which is now called the “Props Tomb”. Although the room has curtains for windows that don’t exist and doors to rooms you can’t go into, the room is a huge improvement, and the props team seems to have a very high morale.

Today they worked on weapons and edible statues (which taste pretty good by the way). Trevor Marshall, Properties master of Mary zimmerman's The Secret in the Wings, has reused a lot of things from the department’s furniture storage, to go along with the theme of found objects. While this was happening, Holden Meier played the “Gaston Song” from Beauty and The Beast more than 20 times, only after singing it acapella for the first 20 times.

Natalie Polechonski, the props master for Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, has been spending a lot of time with trash. She made a trash blanket for the Marquis de Carabas, out of real trash. Natalie said that she needed so much trash to make this blanket that she actually fell in the trash can, twice. Megan Smith, the head of both prop crews is very proud of both teams and sees a very close finish line.

All jokes and silliness aside, the props team has done some really great work.

Jordan Hurst
Hunter...Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere
Theatre Secretary

Properties Master of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, Natalie Polenchonski, makes a spear. 

Padraig Sullivan works hard doing delicate props work. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week Four: Ready for More

We're already four weeks into the term, and we're not slowing down anytime soon. If anything the pace is only going to get faster from here. Despite all the work that has been completed, there's still a lot more to do. I'm not worried though.

Both The Secret in the Wings and Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere have been completely blocked! We have less then half of our rehearsals left before tech, but we are right on track and the shows are only getting better. Actors are now memorized, for the most part, but stage management will still be there when actors call "line!"

The scene shop and costume shop are making great progress. With the walls halfway up for The Secret in the Wings and the foundation of Neil Gaiman's Neverhwere done the scene shop is right on track. The costume shop is continuing to do fittings and pull costumes. All sorts of suits and dresses have been ordered and are arriving soon. Scenic painting and lighting are going to be getting started next week, also, and there will be more on that when it comes!

We've also been taking on the Great Beast of London itself. Building a beast seems to be easier than fighting it. Olivia Thiel is spearheading (ha!) the beast building team. They're making paper mache parts of the beast for various ensemble members to control. Soon fabric will be pulled at the beast will be looking better than ever. Sorry Richard!

We're closing in on tech week as we go into week five. There's no doubt in my mind that we'll be ready when the time comes. We're going strong into week five!

Brady Comenduley
ASM The Secret in the Wings 
Crew Chief of Social Media

Miranda Curtis and Natalie Polenchonski take care of shipping and handling.
Morgan Jellison runs a stage combat workshop.