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need your advice on a play

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by len, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Most of you know that I do mostly production work - concerts, clubs, stuff like that.

    So to do something different, broaden my horizons, etc. I signed on to do lights for a play - the first play I've done in 25 years. It's a one-act improv, with basically half a dozen or less looks needed. I'll start going to rehearsals end of this month, to get a feel for it, and won't see the performance space until a week before opening. So any advice on this new millieu (I've always wanted to work that word into a post :D ) would be appreciated.
     
  2. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    First of all, what equipment or console will you be using?
     
  3. wolf825

    wolf825 Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    The more you know about what you have to work with (black box, round or proscenium theater, equpment invetory or budget, house gel and gobo availability or budget, house plot or custom, house gel or custom, actors, blocking, and the show), and what the show is and involves (mood, scene by scene, coverages and isolations, change ups & backdrops/set pieces etc) the more you can do and plan for....

    Otherwise...plan to keep it simple at first, and grow outward from there....

    -w
     
  4. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    The theater's website tells me they have some pars and fesnels, and a leprechon desk. Unfortunately, no pix of either theater so I don't know what the stage looks like. I might be able to get in there this week to see it before I get in to rehearsals. From talking with the director, I think he wants to keep the look more like a tv show, which this play is a parody of.

    Any other things I should be thinking about?
     
  5. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Watch a lot of game shows, go to as many rehearsals as possible, pluck the brain of the design team and director in where they are going, get a really good idea of blocking than figure out your support of it. Perhaps some really happy go lucky looks and some more intimate and dire looks?

    Might also want to spend a lot of time in pre-production in gauging the extent of light walls and chase lights you will have to design and wire in coordination with the set designer.

    So far it seems as if you have a lot of wash lighting, in compensating for this you might ask about what top hats are available. But overall chase lighting with the set, lit buzzers when coordinated with contestants panel lighting on the set, plus chase lighting and light walls should be enough in thought to give some pre-planning caution in man-hours that might be needed to make it happy and spectacular.

    If parody, perhaps think game show, than take it over the top in highlightling success. A really good strobe light if even as a foot light might be at the top of my rental list if not even a few moving lights for the "wow" factor.
     
  6. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Ship,

    Thanks for the thots. I don't know that parody is the right word, exactly. Yes, this is supposed to be comedy, but I think if it gets too silly, people won't think it's funny. As for rentals, that's not an issue. I have tons of stuff at my disposal. Hanging it may be a problem, but getting it isn't. And game shows are totally off. This is supposed to be more like Judge Judy but with some improv stuff from the audience.
     
  7. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Not in your design, but the theme song for "The People's Court" plays thru my mind. Wonder what it would sound like when run in base thru sub-wolfers mounted under the audience?

    "Hanging would be a problem." So I suppose a truss/grid mounted follow spot position to pick out audience members and swing about the stage would be off ha?
     
  8. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    The update:

    I called the venue repeatedly to take a survey of the room before the show. Never got any replies from the theater manager, so until last night the only info I could get was from their website.

    6 lekos and pars, none of which I am allowed to move or reframe. They're aimed ok, but it's not quite enough for our show. So I'm going to try and hang a couple additional lekos of my own. There's stage pins for them, but no ladder and the manager didn't know if they were even connected or anything.

    And the gels look like they're about 50 years old, even though the building is only 10.

    All in all, the show will be fine. One more rehearsal with a few audience members for free on Monday. Open is on Tuesday and we're supposed to run for a couple months. Director won't say if they've sold any tickets yet, but the theater is sandwiched between 2 restaurants/bars in a very popular entertainment district, so we might draw a lot just from that.

    Cross your fingers for me.
     
  9. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    6 Lekos and pars? wow, that bites!
     
  10. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    It's just a 60 seat black box. We used to call them studio theatres when I was in high school. It's enough for the stage wash, but we have a couple specials we want to do that are key elements.
     
  11. zac850

    zac850 Well-Known Member

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    They won't let you move their insturments and you have a few month run??? That dosen't make any sense, maybe if it was a weekend run, but if your there for over a week they should let you move stuff around.

    Also, since it is a comedy make sure it is very bright and every one on stage is well lit. Try to get some side or top positions set up (trees if you don't have an over-head grid) to help keep everyone on stage bright.

    Good luck!
     
  12. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    Had our final run thru last night. We invited all the residents of a local abused women's shelter to come in for free, and there were about 10 in the house (not too many abused women is a good thing, if one wants to look at it that way, even tho 1 is still too many).

    Anyway, we brought in a couple of our own fixtures, and we'll be fine with theirs and ours. The reason that nothing can be moved is that while we are there for 2 months, there are other shows running concurrently with ours and the management are concerned about having to re-focus and that it may cause problems between the different shows.

    Opening night is tonight.
     
  13. len

    len Well-Known Member

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  14. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    ya, that link doesnt work right for me.... it brings me to a gmail login page... and i dont have a gmail login
     
  15. len

    len Well-Known Member

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  16. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    cool (yep that link works!) Looks like it's an interesting show. How does the lighting work for it? you said you had a couple of differnt looks, but when do you know to change it? or does it still follow a general script even though the jokes are made up on the spot? I have never done a show like this and am curious how it works. thanks
     
  17. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    We do a semi-scripted bit that sort of explains the show, then blackout. Then 2 of the actors come out to get suggestions from the audience.

    After that, the bailiff enters and kills some time while the actors get their assignments, then he calls in the judge when the reporter enters. They banter, then the litigants come in. Basically, I take all the cues from the actors and have to pay close attention as some of the parts move pretty fast.

    We have blocked certain things so when the bailiff moves upstage left and freezes I know he's going to call the judge in. When the judge starts shuffling papers and puts her chin in her hand I know to go to a special on the reporter. Stuff like that.
     
  18. Peter

    Peter Well-Known Member

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    ah ok, cool. That makes sense. Thanks
     

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