Moment: An Introduction
From April 1, 2011 to April 3, 2011, the Laramie Project Company at Duke University ran tech for its upcoming production. The following comes from interviews with Manny Hidalgo, an assistant stage manager for the show.
Well, what Laramie was like during tech…. well, I’d never seen anything like it. With over 200 light cues for a play set in stadium seating, it was sure to be a nightmare.
Now, tech weekend for me started off with learning how to operate the snow for Moment: Snow.
Moment: The Higher Spirit
I remember, being kinda excited for this part. Of all of my duties for the show, this was certainly one of the more exciting ones. I would be, as the character Tiffany Edwards said, the “higher spirit… that blows storms.” In fact, I even jokingly demanded that the cast refer to me as such for the rest of the show, to which Director Jeff Storer said, “Let it be so.”
But, yeah, I followed Stage Manager Don Tucker up to the catwalks where we were met by Dave Berberian of the Scene Shop. I looked down at the stage below and became a little nauseous.
Now, I do not have a fear of height – I really don’t – but, still, something about peering over the rail – realizing how easy it’d be for me to slip under it and splat on the ground below – well, it was a little nauseating.
Anyway, Dave went through the operating of the snow. It was really amazing, actually. Six barrels in a line, flaps to fill each with snow, and holes for the snow to trickle out of. To cap it off, there was a pulley system both to shake out snow and to lower to entire apparatus to the ground below to be filled.
After Dave’s tutorial, I experimented with it myself, overlooking Jeff as he walk through the veil of snow I was creating.
Moment: That Day
Later that that day was a tech without actors. Manny told us that he actually was not required to be there for the rest of the day. He was to be on-call, but as he had already finished his hours in the scene shop, the rest of the day was to be an almost break for him. Nevertheless, Manny came back at 3 to walk with the other volunteers until tech ended around 10, unable to escape to pull of Laramie.
The next two days encompassed a full tech with the actors and the actual costumes they’ll be using. Here’s Manny Hidalgo:
At first I was optimistic that we’d meet Jeff’s ambitious goal of getting a complete run-through in each day. But as we got into it, it became clear that this was certainly… ambitious. Yeah, that the word I’d use to describe it.
One of our actresses was sick on Saturday, so her parts were being read by Naomi. She did her best, and, bless her, did not equivocate at all. She scurried from her normal place to Emma’s place with due diligence. But it certainly presented a challenge for anyone who play a role in setting up Emma’s characters.
Some things that did not get ironed out on Friday were left to Saturday, and by the time it was all said and done, we’d only got to the moment before the end of Act II.
Sunday was the second day of tech.
Maybe it was my imagination, but everyone seemed kind of demoralized on Sunday. I don’t know if people had personal issue going on, or if the monotony of tech was getting to them. Then again, it could have just been my imagination. Again, our objective was to finish through the first run of tech, and squeeze in another full run. I sighed to myself, as my own optimism had completely eroded.
Nevertheless, the Company went straight to work. Emma’s return to our mist certainly aided, and we managed to finish the first run just before 3. Expressions of relief were on everyone face as we adjourned for a break.
It seemed that moral was up again after having done a full run. With our remaining three hours, we would return to the stage to attempt a second. With everyone’s hopes up, we plowed right through the whole play! We even manage to come damn close to our intended two hours and forty minutes goal for the show.
Moment: Gettin’ Moved On
Today we begin our dress rehearsals. Considering how well things went this weekend, I’m sure everything will go off without a hitch. It’s time for us to get moved on – on with the show that is. Opening’s on Thursday, and we have three days of dress to work out the remain kinks.
But for me, I’ll be at Shaefer at 6pm, getting ready to make it snow in Duke’s Laramie.