This is Don’s blog — just being uploaded by Jules.
Someone once told me that every show is like a puzzle, and that it’s a Stage Manager’s job to try and put that puzzle together. The Laramie Project being my 6th attempt at stage managing a show at Duke, I feel qualified to say that that is absolutely true.
The Laramie Project itself is shaping up to be one heck of a puzzle. We have a wonderful, but really large, cast. We have what’s shaping up to be a gorgeous, yet intricate set that requires almost-constant re-arranging. And finally, we have a costume plot that might end up inflicting serious emotional trauma on those of us tasked with keeping track of it. With Laramie, I feel like I’ve walked into a toy store, picked out the biggest, most complicated jigsaw puzzle I could find, dumped all of the pieces out on the floor and thrown away the box. But you know what? I couldn’t be more excited.
Thanks to our extensive table work, I feel like that with this show, more than any other I’ve worked on, everyone involved has a general idea of how the final product should look, which I’ve found can be a rare luxury. We all feel invested in the show, and we all want to produce the absolute best show we can. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a cast and crew come together with so much shared passion for the show they’re putting on.
There have already been a few stumbles. Namely, a couple of insanely complicated scene changes that have had me scrambling like a madman to try and record every shift in the furniture, but for the most part things have gone smoothly. That’s not to say there won’t be more stumbles later, there always are, but for the moment I feel like every piece is falling smoothly into place.
As we move on, the puzzle is bound to get more complicated. There are bound to be lost pieces here and there, or a section that we just can’t seem to get in to fit properly with everything else. But no matter what happens along the way, and no matter which way the puzzle ends up coming together, I know it’s going to make an absolutely beautiful picture, and we’re going to have a great time solving it.