As a stage manager it is their duty to make sure everything is going smoothly throughout the day. This includes making sure that all the lights, sound and projections are all programmed and ready for the show later on that evening. I assigned jobs to the actors which were waiting patiently in the green room, such as ironing all the bed sheets and pillows cases which were used for the factory scene, and also the cyc and another bed sheet for the projections as it is vital that the audience are able to see the images clearly and also it looks neat and tidy.
The only problem I faced whilst setting up was two of the projections. One being the video that was meant to have been projected onto a chair. There was something wrong with the format of the video which did not allow the file run through Qlab (a programme that we was using the run the lights, sound and other projections). We tried then to project it onto the wall but still did not work. Unfortunately, we had to cut the video because we realised that also there was too much for the audience to look at on stage and it seemed more of a distraction. The other projection that I was having trouble with was the floor projection of the poppy. The colours was not bright enough and also where it was situated as certain audience members would not be able to see it. But at least I tried the idea out and knew what to work on for next time.
The show in terms of tech, I felt as though it went really well. All the cues were pressed at the right time and there was not one person who was not lit during their time on stage. The music and sounds also worked which the actors responded well to. The live feed, I heard that some of the writing was not seen by parts of the audience so in order for this not to happen next time. Either zoom in more with the camcorder that we used or make sure the writing is written with a big bold pen and is written neatly. The projection on the cyc was also successful in terms of people seeing it and how the stage was lit so the lighting did not bleed into the video.
Overall, the show was really good fun to do. As a company we have been very supportive with one another in order for us to achieve our final piece. Because I have taken two roles within the company, stage manager and a performer. I have seen the process in two different ways. When I am in the rehearsal space I am a performer taking directions from our directors then when I am away from the rehearsal space I will be thinking about the previous rehearsal and how I could light a certain section that we have been working on. Or even if we work with a track, then I can start making a folder of all the resources so I can talk with the production team to see which is better to use for the show. It is hard work doing two different roles but I have experienced what it could be like working with a professional theatre company in the industry. This whole experience from day one at rehearsals until the final show day is something I could see myself doing as a career, and that I am very excited to work hard in order to get to it
Lots of printing, scanning, licking, and stamping to get our programmes all ready to be handed out in time for Friday. Our programmes were sealed in an envelope with a letter from a member of the company to tell them about our process for the show. The letters were a way of communication to our audience, like the solider and their loves ones did. I feel as though it is a personal thing in which is slowly fading our due to different types of media such as Facebook, Twitter etc. And it is up to them whether they keep or throw away the letters after, at least they have experienced a part of our company’s process. After five hours, our programme machine came to an end. Then it was onto completing the rest of our bunting making. Louise was on her sewing machine, Charlotte was placing all the triangles in the correct place to be sewn and the rest of us was folding it up and debating where to place it on stage and in the front of house.
Four our production team is was there final checks and whether we had all the correct cues and sound tracks in the right place in our master script. Even then, the production manager and myself went over the script a couple of times to make sure nothing had been forgotten and for it make sense because not only was it myself that was calling the show, so was the rest of the company.
So it is Monday, four days before the show. This is where the excitement comes in for the stage management team. This is where we see the show come to life. The directors and the stage management team called for a production meeting after our successful rehearsal. This is where we did the final checks […]
Even though I have taken on the role of stage manager. I have also been thinking about our lights and what design would suit the performance best. Overall, I think simple lighting such as warm washes and spot lights would suit our performance the best. But I had an idea that I wanted to try out. Below is a diagram in which I thought would look effective and a representation of a poppy.
Here is my attempt…
I managed to create the lighting effect but I realised that too much colour was involved and it is a very dramatic contrast between the washes I had and this particular design. Therefore, I had to think of something else. This is where the image of the poppy projection idea came into place. I asked Louise, the assistant stage manager whether she would be able to create a poppy that could be projection from the lighting bar above the stage. This is what she came up with:
With this image I would like to put it in the centre of stage as an end piece during the last song in the performance.
When watching The Beginning at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre I was inspired by the live feed that was shown on stage. Created by the character of the ‘stage manager’ through live performance, this gave the company the idea of using this technique to magnify the letters we write throughout our own performance. This live feed will be presented to the audience upstage right on our tech desk where we will have one laptop, a camcorder and a notebook and pen. The live feed will be projected onto a smaller version of our handmade psyche which will hang over the front of the desk.
Throughout the duration of the performance, we want to represent the men who had died on the first day of the Somme. By doing this, we want to create a projection which increases in numbers every 30 seconds. This is our process of how we did it yesterday –
First we wrote down all the numbers that we need, going up in 7s to 840!!
(As you can see the numbers are too much for Jess)
We transferred the numbers onto paper where then myself started to take photos…
In total there was 120 pieces of paper, my knees definitely hurt after a while! Now this is completed, our next step in now to create the projection onto a Mac which will be done by next week! Very exciting for the company even Louise thinks so….
Over the past week or so, we have started collating props and set to aid us in our rehearsals. Things such as bed sheets and brooms for the cotton mill factory scene and bunting for us to hang at the beginning of the performance.
Yesterday, I managed to create our very own projection screen! To be honest it was quite therapeutic. I sewed two large double flat sheets together on my machine sewing and now it is all complete and ready to be hung for our working progress.
Here is the process so far below:
Now the screen is complete we can now focus on what sort of beautiful photos we can project onto it. The company have been thinking of images such as men during the war in the trenches, poppies etc. We have also found a beautiful photo of Louise’s Great Grandma which we are going to be using during a section of Louise’s verbatim. Louise will be representing herself as a ghost image of her Grandma.
Going back to our Theatre Compay Manifesto which we created a couple weeks ago, we mentioned that we wanted to create “REAL theatre. Honest theatre. Truthful theatre”. As this is an important motive for us as a theatre company, we want this to reflect in our final project. By doing this there is a lot to think about such our space, the aesthetics of the theatre and also our research. These are the ideas we have come up with so far:
First of all, we would like to strip the theatre back by making sure that everything we do in our performance such as moving the set, changing of the lights, creating soundscapes through ourselves or even microphones is visible. By doing this we feel as though we are being honest and truthful not only to ourselves but also our audience. By doing this we aren’t hiding by what we want to achieve.
The honest and truthfulness won’t be just in our aesthetics of the performance but also in ourselves. We don’t want to be characters. The type of theatre we want to portray is verbatim theatre which is a documentary based language with real people’s spoken words. We want to be able to share their own words and not take credit for them and by doing this we will be representing their words in a variety of mediums.
Even though we would like to strip back our stage, as a company we would like to use a lot of technology such as projection to show the audience more visually what research we have gained through our experience of making this project. We would like to project text and also images. By projecting quotes from our interviewee’s shows the audience not only our research but our journey and other people’s views and opinions on WW1 that we have gained over the past weeks. Another medium I have mention is images. Members of our theatre company have collated images of their past relatives during WW1 and also have explored the Lincolnshire Archives where they have found useful pictures.
My last point taken from our manifesto is that we mention about taking “the lost and forgotten documents that are stored away, in your attics, archives and annex’s”. This would be a great image to start our performance with. By decorating the stage with lots of clutter and boxes, and then slowly taking the items away throughout the performance would represent history slowly fading away. It is the same with our performance, it will be once there on the stage but once we have finished it is as though it wasn’t there.