Midsummer in midwinter

Arctic temps are back in Blo this week while I opened A Midsummer Nights Dream this weekend. A collaboration between Irish Classical Theatre and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. Shakespeare and Mendelssohn. A lovely combination all around.

Photos coming soon to my portfolio pages. General updates to my recent productions are on the to-do list.

Nut cracking, 6.0

Caught up in one last show, for the sixth time around, kicking off the holiday season and kicking the door closed on another semester. Cracking nuts and cracking the whip. Final projects graded. Final grades projected. Nutcracker. Friends and Family. December’s ending. Winter’s beginning. Winter solstice weekend. Sun, Snow, and Salsa.

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Checkerboards and lighting boards

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I find a fair amount of duality in my world recently. It seems the nature of the game is two things going on at once. Or two apposing forces. Or two modes of thinking. A choice to make, a place to be. There can be only one. Choose wisely. Last week I loaded in two shows: Baba Yaga returned to Shea’s and Salesman started to take shape across the street at Irish Classical. I had the opportunity to utilize the Hog4 console over at Shea’s. I appreciate it’s merit for rock rigs, with extensive programming time, but doesn’t hold a candle to the on-the-fly programming capabilities for a one-off ballet comfortability of my first console love: ETC. Always and forever.

This week was solo paint call zen. Just me and five layers of glazing for one faux wood treatment. A couple of evocative walls here, a checkerboard floor over there…. Furniture and set dressing this weekend.

Checkerboards.
Black and white.
Equal balance.
Duality.
Decisions.

Creativity in the face of opulence

Some belated musings about the production of Giselle from last month. As previously mentioned, I was the lighting designer (and scenic artist) on this show. Every time I mount a new show on the Shea’s stage I am honored to have the opportunity. The theatre itself is absolutely breathtaking. Originally built in 1926, it is a marvel of the opulence of that time, showcasing an aesthetic based on 17th and 18th century design. It was a grand movie house in the heyday of silent films. The theatre fell into disrepair during the mid-20th century. Restoration during the last couple decades have brought it back to life. Every time I walk thru the stage door I think of all the artists of the past who have done the same. It is always a thrill to create in such a space.

Visions of sugar plums

It was the first real snow of the season, and it just perfectly set the mood for the first public performance of Neglia Ballet’s Nutcracker this past Saturday evening. In conjunction with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Shea’s Performing Arts Center, year four of this annual event was a sparkle covered whirlwind of giant presents, giant staircases, giant snow trees, giant cupcakes, and giant cotton candy. I am the Lighting Designer for Act 1 and the Associate Set Designer. My friend and colleague, Lynne, is the Set Designer and Lighting Designer for Act 2. The long hours, yet still truncated tech time, are worth every minute for the look on my niece’s face when the Christmas Tree grows to 24’0 high onstage or when the battle scene in a Victorian ballroom has transformed into a land of Snow mountains and dancing snowflakes before her very eyes. It is a magical performance.

In addition to the two public performances, this year Neglia was able to sponsor a “children’s show” on Wednesday morning when almost 3000 Buffalo city school students were able to see Nutcracker, probably for the first time, on the grand Shea’s stage. A theatre full of wide eyed and imaginative young minds that react honestly and earnestly to every scene change and surprise is enough to put anyone in the Christmas spirit. Visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.

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