First Onstage

After quite a lively drive into Stratford (thanks, snow + wind), we finally hit the stage. For those of you that don’t know, the first onstage is the first time the actors get to go on their set, to feel how the space is, and (in this case) the way the room works with (or against) their performance. It’s a great day to calibrate expectations – even for those of our company who have played in this room before, the interplay between the text, the company and the room is different every time. Not to say that one has to start from zero – one can always bring one’s experience to bear in finding a starting point – but there is always a lot to learn, no matter how often or how rarely one plays in a room.

For me, this is especially true – as I’ve mentioned before in this series, despite my many years in Stratford I’ve not worked in the Festival theatre. Hearing the actors on stage and wandering around the hall while they work is very enlightening, and I start to build a kind of mental/imagined algorithm of sound I can refer to to frame the decisions I will make when programming the sound design.

Uh, I don’t think I can explain it any better than that – hearing the room and the actors in it somehow makes a blueprint? That then helps me place my sound in the space? Without hearing it? I think?

Can’t show you the full undressed stage, but this is where we (stage management, directing, lights and sound teams) are hanging while we observe

One thing that may be of interest to the sound nerds if no one else: the sound in the balcony is extraordinarily clear!

My main wonder is how I can support the energy of the very centralized playing space in such a wide hall. But the sound system is really transparent and there is a lot of coverage – more on this in another post – so it’s seeming to me that if I’m circumspect and discreet when I need to be (and big big big when I get the moment) I should be able to really extend the energy of the playing space into the house and into the hearts of the audience.

I’m excited!

because we all know who runs this burg

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