I spent just about the whole month getting ready for the Prince’s ball, and a whole lot of people came to it. They seemed to have a “lovely night!”
Quote of the Month
“Those who wish to sing, always find a song.”
- Swedish proverb
Current & Upcoming
With the performances on the final weekend of the month, March was all about Cinderella. Everything culminated in three fantastic performances by the Villa Walsh Academy students last weekend, and I’m so proud of all that they accomplished over the past few months! I definitely had my work cut out for me in being on the rehearsal side of this production as assistant director and assistant choreographer as well as doing a bunch of design work outside of rehearsal hours, but it was very rewarding to watch everything come together and such a blast to get a chance to use some “random” skills that I don’t get to use all the time. (No skill is ever truly random in theatre, is it? More on that below!) With the arrival of April it’s time for a totally clean slate of projects, including a trip across the pond, some exciting opportunities to see shows other than ones I’m working on, and a new directing gig starting up in May — so stay tuned for some eventful and more varied upcoming blog posts!
Adventures in Design
The final weeks of Cinderella were all hands on deck, and it was a fun challenge to brush up some assorted crafting skills to put to use on some costuming and prop-making projects. Here are a few behind-the-scenes highlights! (I’d tell you how Cinderella’s transformation dress works, but I’m sworn to protect the magic…)
What’s Old is New Again
While searching for uniforms for our two royal trumpeters, we found a pair of jackets which fit both actresses. The dark blue bases of the pieces were in good shape, but the decoration was a bit tacky and clashed with our color scheme. I swapped out all the old accents (shown on the left) and sewed on new red and gold trimmings which had been left over from set decorating (shown on the right), and I'm quite pleased with how the re-fashioned jackets turned out!
“Let-Us” Entertain You
One musical number in Cinderella calls for an ensemble of palace chefs to dance with trays displaying various types of dishes to be served at the ball. In our prop design we tried to represent each of the dishes described in the song lyrics, one of which references “forty acres of lettuce.” While digging through old scraps of fabric for a costume project, I stumbled across an old remnant of green organza which instantly struck me of remarkably lettuce-like. Now I’m not sure why it would be desirable to serve so much lettuce at a ball, or whether anyone reading this will ever find themselves needing to make a lettuce prop in the future, but I can enlighten you with the wisdom that layers of green organza folded around a small foam sphere and tacked into place creates an incredibly lifelike lettuce prop. Behold!
Throwback – March 2017 & 2018
If I wasn’t working on Cinderella, I’d want to be… Attending the Humana Festival!
Twice during college, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Kentucky during spring break. One of my Kenyon’s drama clubs ran an annual trip, which I signed up for as a junior and coordinated as a senior, allowing students to experience an exciting weekend lineup of new works. Each year we saw some pieces we loved so much we were dying to produce them and some we thought might benefit from further development, but the constant delight was seeing thought-provoking new work in the company of other young artists who were eager to share ideas. Both visits inspired fascinating discussions and introduced me to art that has greatly impacted me. Attending the festival also introduced me to the Actors Theatre, the excellent theatre company that runs the festival and happens to also offer a professional training program which is among the many I have applied to this winter.