Friday, July 31, 2009

War of the Worlds - Lighting Cues

X2L calling CQ . . . 2X2L calling CQ . . . 2X2L calling CQ . . . New York. Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone on the air? Isn't there anyone . . .
War of the Worlds has invaded Orlando. I spent a solid day sketching rehearsals on the day before the play opened. Here Fletch and Zac are in the sound booth working on the lighting cues for the show. This is a grueling process for the actors who had to go thought the play scene by scene being interrupted every few lines as the lighting was adjusted. I finished 5 drawings all together this day and I discovered it is possible to draw and paint in a pitch black theater. As the actors performed the lights seemed to switch constantly and arbitrarily. This forced me to work in different ways using less line and larger masses of color. Not being able to see where I placed lines forced me to trust my instincts more than the final polished look.
When I arrived at the Shakespeare Theater, I saw a young woman struggling to get in with a huge plastic bag packed to overflowing on her shoulders. She was also carrying some heavy coats on hangers. I helped her by opening the inner theater door. It turned out that this was Kelly Ann who is in charge of the shows costuming. One at time the actors approached her and tried on their stylish 1940's duds. What followed then was the first full dress rehearsal. For the first time the play was performed from start to finish with lights, sound, props and costumes. For me the performance was overwhelming and a joy to watch. The play taps deep into the depths of our humanity and the our vulnerability and everyday fears. Something magical happened at this dress rehearsal, emotions and actions were crisp, clear and sincere. The directors and actors are continuing to polish the performances but they are polishing a true gem. Tonight is opening night, don't miss it! If there is one play you need to see this year, trust me it is War of the Worlds. Performances are:
Opening night Friday July 31, 8PM.
Saturday August 1st 2PM and 8PM.
Sunday August 2nd 7PM.
Friday August 7th 8PM.
Saturday August 8th 8PM
Sunday August 9th 7PM.
Tickets are $12. If you want to order online, go to Listen to the directors talk about the production on the WUCF Podcast.
Do not miss the invasion!

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: