Kiss Me Kate

The pictures are in! you can view a slideshow of my Kiss Me Kate production photos here. It is by far the biggest show I have done, with the most extensive settings. There were eight or nine locations in a realistic show. Word on the streets of lexington is that this is the best musical in 8-10 years. Now to get ready and strike it on Sunday…

Another Opening, another Show

Well, it’s has been a ‘long hard slog’ (as it goes in the script). There has been many many long hours on my part, but the show is finally open. You can see the final dress in a nutshell here. I’ll have more pictures available soon. In the meantime I have some progress shots in my Flickr feed.

paint, paint and oh more paint.

I have been working madly on Kiss Me Kate. One of the few times here at W&L that I am just doing one part(scene design, lighting design costume design or Technical direction). In this case I am just doing the set design, and it is more than enough. Eight different settings in a realistic piece call for a lot of work. I’m very excited about this show, but is quite a daunting amount of work. And for the first time I have designed something too big, both size and budget wise. We’ve cut some pieces from the show, but the budgets I was given were guesses that are totally inaccurate.

So I’ve set up one theatre as a painting studio. I’ve already gotten through painting the scenery for three of the settings. I’m halfway through one drop for the show, and have one more to go. The problem is that the Technical Director is only concerning himself with the set and not the props, as is the usual here. So I have to devote a lot of time to that as well. Not to mention I have to run the department since I am Acting Chair of the Department. We’ll see how things are at the end of the week, that will be crunch time.

Part of the problem is that none of the students have an artistic eye. So I can’t train them to do the finish work, some of the finish work they have done I just want to do over. Now I know I can’t, but it’s still on my list if I have time to do it during tech week. But that really slows me down, having to do everything.

I didn’t do any work today(I’m writing this on Sunday- Mother’s Day), because there are limits to how much time I should spend at work. Although I was thinking about set stuff throughout the day. I guess I can’t let go. But I’m not a perfectionist, I just want it to be right. :)

Delayed update

Here it has been a while since my last post. As always I am immersed in work, teaching, designing Kiss Me Kate, and acting as Department chair while the chair is abroad teaching.

McKelvey lost her two front teeth. They were both loose when she didn’t look where she was going and walked into a door. She doesn’t have as much of a lisp as I would have guessed, as it looks so cute. Liam is doing great, gaining a lot of weight. He lost his initial baby hair and subsequently had some male pattern baldness. So that his either a foreshadowing of his future or mine(or both). Arden is doing good as well. She doesn’t want to use the potty as much as I want her to, but it’s something she has to be in charge of. She is in total love with Liam.

I’ll have more to post later this week, right now I am madly trying to finish up this design so we can get building.

the constant is change

Last week, some tibetan monks were in residence in the Art & Music building next door. They were on campus for a theatrical performance and art presentation. I didn’t get to see the performance (opting to spend time with the new guy). But I did get to see the photo exhibit of tibet and the creation of a sand painting. The sand painting was amazing. It started on Monday with an opening ceremony which included chanting and music. Then they began work on the Mandala. After a careful layout, they began to lay in the sand. They would put some of the colored sand into long cones that had a serrated top edge. Then by rubbing a stick along the top edge they would get a trickle of sand to come out the tip. So grain by grain they built out from the center. It took them from Monday at 1pm until Thursday at 11am to complete it. They would work from 9-5 pretty much. At noon on Thursday they began the closing ceremony. After that they swept it up and put it in the creek behind the building. Don’t worry I took some pictures.

All that got me thinking, as maybe it was supposed to, about the impermanence of things. Many people remarked that the should keep the mandala or preserve it somehow. But the end of the work was decided at it’s beginning, that is part of it’s beauty. That made me feel better about my own work actually. I would get dissuaded sometimes working on a show. Because you spend 6-8 weeks working on something a that ultimately a couple hundred people see. And all that is left over are some photos and artifacts that have mostly sentimental value. However members of the art department use the same skills i do(painting, carpentry etc..) to create works that have more respect and a longer lasting value. But after this week I was able to accept it better. That theatre is not made to last forever, it’s made to last in a memory. As theatrical designer named Desmond Heely once said: “Theatre is like a poem written on water, it’s beauty lasts but a moment.”

the Blog of Owen Collins