July 1 was our longest day in the rehearsal process. It’s often called the “10 out of 12” day. A day where the technical elements – scenic, lighting, props, sound, and special effects are incorporated into the show. It’s the beginning of tech week and is one of my favorite days.
Last week, while watching this brilliant cast do their work during rehearsal, I whispered to my co-director, Christine, “I can’t wait to see this with lights.” And I was not disappointed.
As a lighting designer, there is a lot of magic to be made. The script gives insight, the conversations with the director(s), and the intricate knowledge of how light works can lead to beautiful shows. And then there is this show – our designer, Isaiah Leeper – has been indeed giddy over working with the cast. One of the greatest compliments I’ve heard given to a cast is that he is excited to light them…not just the show, but the actors/characters and the work they are doing which are inspiring more magical moments than anticipated.
Another aspect of this rehearsal process that I’m thrilled to hand over has been some sound design-ish work. Music is very inspirational to me and at least a few times, I’ve based entire show concepts on the feeling I get from one song. When I was directing “After Juliet” in 2013, I had just been introduced to The Punch Brothers and Electric Guest. “The Bait” by EG and “Movement & Location” by The Punch Brothers evoked such imagery for me that I commissioned some original music based on that feeling and decided on a steampunk theme, which tied the whole show together.
For this show, we have set it in the mid-1200s where the Vikings were being beaten by the Scots after over 400 years. We have incorporated that Viking theme into the show, and the music is a big part. And to truly work with the music for the witch scenes, alarums, and flourishes, we had to get creative. And I’ve been trying to run as much of it as I can, as it was gathered, during rehearsal, I discovered I was missing watching the show as much as I wanted to. As we are co-directing, I knew we were covered, but wanted to do more of my part in the note-taking. So, on Saturday, I got to give over the sound to our sound team, Elijah, Scott, & Gabi and it was remarkable to hear it through the theatre speakers. It’s going to be amazing!
Tech day is over, we made it through the show, and it is going to be stunning! The cast is ready for the next step, which is Monday with first dress. They will dress in their costumes, put on their makeup and do their hair…then just four more days til opening. I hope you’ll join us!
~Lori Ann, co-director, Macbeth
As we inch closer to opening night, very exciting things are happening around the theatre.
- The final details are almost done on the set.
- Thrones have been built and just need to be painted. These are going to be stunning.
- Our props engineer is working hard to provide us with all the detail we need to tell our story…and we love it!
- The fights have been choreographed and are looking good, thanks to our fight director, David Harris.
- The witchy devised work and final curtain call is in place and so inspired
- Costume fittings are happening this week and we can’t wait to see them
Tickets are available and seem to be flying out the door, so get in on this now as to not miss out. As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve moved into the Art Court Theatre, a smaller location than the Auditorium. We did this as Macbeth is a show that will benefit from a more intimate experience. We are excited to envelop our audience in the world of the play.
Did I mention sword fighting? And fog?
We had forty actors audition this year, in person, for our festival.
March 17, 2020, 1177 days ago, everything shut down. For a couple of months, there was no theatre, anywhere. Then, sometime in May, I think, everyone, everyone started doing Zoom readings of Shakespeare plays online with their friends for their friends. Everyone. Because they could. Because they refused to not do it. And there were no auditions, really, only friends.
In the fall, people started taking the Zoom thing seriously. Fully produced Zoom plays with memorized lines, maybe, because you couldn’t really tell, for paid tickets on YouTube. You saw your fellow actors when you picked up your green screens, web cameras, and microphones. And then went home and hid in your living for your Zoom performance. For fifteen people in their living rooms.
And then we all did a whole season of Zoom plays. We saw our fellow actors when we brought back the green screens, webcams, and microphones. Some auditions, on Zoom, not many, mostly the people you knew who were as bored as you were. Will you be in our Zoom play?
We had forty actors audition this year, in person.
By the next summer, 2021, 812 days ago now, some people met outside to do Shakespeare, at some social distance, outside, for real cameras that streamed our little performances into 23 homes at a time. We saw our fellow actors, outside only, at a little distance, for the time we were onstage or waiting in the wings. But we did it. Some auditions, on Zoom. Most people we knew.
And that fall, little by little, with a theatre full of cameras, microphones, mixing boards, and cables, we brought in a few friends as an audience, stepping over the cables, feeling like they couldn’t laugh because we were streaming into homes. And then, finally, we started acting with people on the stage for people in the audience. And one play at a time, we crawled back to some kind of normal.
We had forty actors audition this year. We couldn’t even use them all. Come see.
Back in early May we auditioned for our 57th season of the Sacramento Sacramento Shakespeare Festival. We are so excited to be bringing you “Macbeth” in the Art Court Theatre this year…something we haven’t done in over 3 decades!
The cast for this year’s festival will be announced on May 30, so stay tuned.
Tickets are currently available, just click the Tickets page in the menu bar.
We have some amazing folks working with us to bring the magic to life. We’ve also been documenting our journey so far and will be sharing this with you weekly – behind the scenes, artist interviews, process blogs/vlogs, even a podcast where we explore the magic behind the bard.