Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trees - Oh Holy Night

I arrived late to a Trees rehearsal on Sunday after a sketching assignment for Orlando Home and Leisure. As I walked in the worship center, "Oh Holy Night" was playing and the core company was on stage with their arms raised in reverence towards Mary and Joseph who were perched on top of a monolithic stage platform which had been erected on stage. Since I last saw this stage set piece, it had been painted black. The core group slowly lowered their arms which had an amazing dramatic effect with the music playing. Later a choreographer said she got goose bumps at this moment.
Then the actors approached each other as if discussing the wonders of what they had just witnessed. Aradhana the director got on the stage to show them how to push or exaggerate the action so it would play to the back of the worship center. She approached an actor with so much energy and enthusiasm, that the actor, caught off guard, had to take a step back. She wanted everyone to act with conviction and certainty. The point made in a humerus way is certain to never be forgotten by the cast.
So many things go on simultaneously in this show and yet the emotional focus is never lost. For instance during a number when the core group is dancing on the stage, a large group of teenagers is lined up along the edges of the worship center and they swing to the beat. During another dance number the choreographer shouted out "This is about Jesus, so I want major smiles!" Sometimes surprised when I see a number I had seen rehearsed before. As an artist I am always trying to catch quick isolated moments while the bulk of the show rolls forward. I always feel I am trying to catch up to the action.

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

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