Parlando: The COC Blog

1/28/2011

Behind the Scenes: The Hedgehogs

[Behind-the-Scenes, a series of guest posts by associate technical director Barney Bayliss, has returned for the winter run! This post was written Jan. 26. To see all Behind the Scenes posts, click here]

Tonight is the Dress Rehearsal for The Magic Flute. Today we changed the set and lighting over from Nixon in China, and spent some time this afternoon rehearsing with the crew. Magic Flute is the kind of show where the crew needs rehearsal time. During Act II, the action is set in a labyrinth of hedges which move magically from scene to scene.

The hedges have wheels and run in tracks on the deck, but are operated by stagehands. Four of the hedges are closed on all four sides, so the operator inside has to work blind. They have headsets to get their cues from the stage manager, and spike marks on the floor so they know where to stop. Those four guys are stuck inside their hedges for all of Act II. We call them the hedgehogs. In total, we have spent about 14 hours working on the staging of the hedge moves, making them so that the timing is right, avoiding collisions. Two of the hedges have to pivot around on a single point, and do it in unison. The effect is quite magical.

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Posted by Barney Bayliss / in Behind the Scenes / comments (2) / permalink

1/15/2011

Behind the Scenes: The Fire Curtain

[Behind the Scenes, a series of guest posts by associate technical director Barney Bayliss, has returned for the Winter Run! To see all Behind the Scenes posts, click here]

We are near the end of the second week in the theatre with The Magic Flute and Nixon in China, and as with the Fall Season, I have not had much time to write blog entries until now.

Nixon in China is a rented production, first presented in St. Louis, and we loaded it in first on Jan. 5.  We spent a day hanging the lighting, then a day building the Nixon set, then two days focusing for Nixon. That all went very well, ahead of schedule and everything looks good. The Nixon set is very red and the lighting looks interesting. The Nixon cast is rehearsing back at head office now.

Yesterday, on Jan. 12, we loaded in the Magic Flute set. This is a new production, fresh from our Scene Shop, via the rehearsal hall. Flute also went together smoothly, and the set looks beautiful. It reminds me of Edwards Gardens.

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Posted by Barney Bayliss / in Behind the Scenes / comments (0) / permalink

11/3/2010

Behind the Scenes with Barney: The Load Out

[This is the 9th in a series of guest posts by Barney Bayliss, associate technical director at the COC. This post was written Nov. 2. To read the other posts in the series, click here]

There are only four performances left in this fall season. Two Aida, and two Death in Venice. We have been planning this weekend’s load out.

Load outs are very expensive because we have a big crew working for a long period of time.  And we have a hard deadline, in that if we are not done by 11 p.m. on Sunday night, the National Ballet will not have the crew it needs to load in on Monday morning at 8. The last Aida performance is on Friday night. Saturday morning at 8 a.m., we will come in to change over to Death in Venice for its last performance, at 4:30 p.m.. After the show, we will stay until 11 p.m. and pack up the Death in Venice set. The entire Death in Venice set fits in one shipping container, if it is packed tightly.  

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Posted by Barney Bayliss / in Behind the Scenes / comments (2) / permalink

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Sara Fulgoni in the COC production of Bluebeard's Castle. Photo: Michael Cooper © 2001

 

 

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