Stage Fighting

We did a couple of techie-orientated lectures on stage fighting, back at Ra-de-da, while the actors did their stage combat training.  In tech the arrival of the fight choreographer was always a Big Deal, as invariably they’d only have a couple of hours to spend on the show and, more importantly, we could only ever afford to pay them for that thin amount of time, before the cost of their expertise began to cost more than… say…  the set. One of the choreographers who talked to the techies explained some of the skills required.  For a start, he had brown …

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Collaboration

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(Subtitle: I do not think this word means what you think it means….) Collaboration!  If you could please imagine proclaiming it with brass fanfare behind… … coll-ab-or-ation!! It is the battle cry of theatre.  What are we going to do on this show?  COLLABORATE to make something wonderful!  What is the purpose of rehearsals?  To COLLABORATE whoop whoop!  How are technical rehearsals made smooth and easy?  By collaborating! Except.  Actually.  More of the time than perhaps we’d admit… … it’s a bit of a lie. I say this without rancor.  There are many reasons as to why we often fail …

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So You’ve Got To Prop A Community Show

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Aaaah propping.  I’m not the world’s greatest prop-hunter – not gonna lie.  It involves people skills, and negotiation and imaginative use of solid objects and, frankly, these are not things that come as naturally to me as buttons (lovely buttons) and numbers (lovely lovely numbers) and beam angles and colour and stuff.  My greatest triumph was probably blagging six empty Jamesons Irish whiskey bottles from the bars of Soho – turned out it as an unfashionable brand – only for it to then turn out that four of them were cut. “Do you have an empty Jameson’s whiskey bottle?” I …

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So You’re A Community Deputy Stage Manager

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This is continuing my theme of hopeful-advice for anyone dabbling in community theatre.  For the pre-amble, please see this post. Today, let’s talk about the Deputy Stage Manager, or DSM. In professional theatre, the DSM does the following: Attends rehearsals every day, and takes notes on all that happens.  This includes blocking (where actors stand), and any props, set or general notes that comes from the rehearsal process.  A DSM will produce lists containing all the props, and where they’re set, and when they’re bought on, as well as furniture and anything extraneous like flying or stage management cues.  These …

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So You Want To Do Some Theatre

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This will be the first of a series of posts, giving some thin semblance of technical advice for anyone dabbling in community theatre. I love going to the theatre.  I love brilliant plays beautifully put together.  I love working in professional theatre, putting on great plays to the highest standard we can, and I get a buzz from being part of it.  Sometimes professionals behave badly; sometimes well; sometimes we make terrible shows; sometimes fantastic.  It varies, but to one degree or another we are all trained to do this, and it’s our livelihood. Community theatre- what’s lovingly termed am …

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