Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Road To Mecca


After returning from France, I quickly tried to arrange to sketch a rehearsal of Road to Mecca. That night was a final dress rehearsal and performance preview of the show. Unfortunately I was already scheduled to sketch a fundraiser that night. The director, Aradhana Tiwari, suggested I get there early to sketch last minute touches being done to the set in the new Mad Cow Theater (54 West Church Street, second floor)

When I got to the theater, I met Lisa Buck, the set designer. She explained that the lights that had been ordered for the new black box theater hadn't arrived yet. A company had agreed to lend the Mad Cow their lights.  There was a last minute rush to get these lights hung and aimed properly. A stage hand would climb a ladder and then shout out to the person in the lighting booth to get the light turned on. Lisa briefly explained to me that the show was about an elderly English South African woman who sculpted owls and filled her home with candles and bottles. Her home had a quirky folk artists feel. Lisa told me that when the set was properly lit, it would sparkle magically. All the candles would be lit and the light would reflect off of all the bottles. Bottles hung from the ceiling forming a dense chandelier. Lisa knew that a neighbor had an old weathered door in his back yard. She borrowed it to use as the headboard to the bed. Characters in the play tried to convince the old woman to leave the home and go into assisted living because she was living outside their idea of the norm.

Aradhana arrived when I was half finished with my sketch. She quickly started working on the music and lighting cues for the show. There were only a few hours left before an audience would enter the theaters. One scene which had already been worked out was much brighter than Aradhana remembered. A stage hand was cutting gels for the lights and those gels would change the color and intensity of the lights.  They had to go on faith that everything would be in place on time. I finished my sketch as the frantic work continued.

The show runs through November 11th. Get your tickets now.