Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Trees - The Chorus Loads In

I sat back stage to watch the Chorus load into the trees. The Chorus enters the trees by 2 ramps on either side of each of the 45 foot high structures. Below this level is another staging area where the chorus enters the lowest levels of the tree structures. It sort of reminds me of the opening scenes of "Titanic" with huge crowds going up the gang planks to board the unsinkable ship.
The tree rats enter the structure via two ramps in the center. The rats are on hand to massage legs and place all the wooden boxes that make everyone look 6 feet high. The tree rats entered the tree structure first and they are not in costume. Air conditioning ducts were piped in to supply cool air inside the trees.
In order to capture this sketch I worked diligently on the perspective of the huge space when no one was around. Then when the chorus lined up I had only minutes to capture where they were in that space. I found it interesting that the chorus doesn't wear long flowing robes but rather only the part of the robe that will be seen by the audience when they are standing in the tree. This must because of the immense heat generated by all the lights on the trees. I was surprised more people didn't wear shorts. The woman seated on the right was the first chorus member to come out. She had two pillows that she also stood on. She is seated beside a baptism pool which is full of water.
All this backstage activity is hidden from the audience by huge white curtains that are draped behind the trees. I was glad that the fabric is rather sheer which meant that I had plenty of light to work with when the show was going on. The show itself was inspiring, uplifting and fun. I know all the tunes by heart now and I can't help but sing them as I am working.
Show times are
December 6, 5:00 PM
December 11, 7:30 PM
December 12, 3:00 PM
December 13, 5:00 PM
Tickets range from $8 to a $42 Dinner package.

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