Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I went to the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center,(812 E. Rollins St., Orlando, FL), to sketch a dress rehearsal for Phantasmagoria IV: Hell Hath Risen. DiDonna Productions and The Empty Spaces Theatre Co(llaboration), is proud to present the fourth installment of their Macabre Halloween Celebrations. John greeted me when I entered and gave me a quick run down of the evening's timetable. Since it was over an hour till the start of the run through, I asked if I could sketch the actors getting into makeup. With a flourish, John opened the dressing room curtain and introduced me. I already knew dancer Dion Smith, so I felt at home. An actress even told me that the two chairs next to the costume rack were free so I quickly sat and got to work.
Make up can take well over an hour for a show like this since skin is supposed to have a sinister ghostly cast. Eye lashes were exceedingly long and multiple layers of eyeliner accentuated the eyes. Seth Kubersky, one of the co-directors, entered and joked saying, "Three years sketching the Orlando Arts scene has been just a cover so you could sketch in actresses dressing rooms." He has a point, this is as good as it gets in terms of back stage access. This is a subject that can never get old.
A stage manager shouted "Five minutes till fight rehearsal!" Actors shouted back, "Thank you five!" Not every actress was in costume. They quickly got into their Victorian dresses and went out for the fight sequence rehearsal before the run through of the show. When they were done, they quickly returned to the dressing room to finish up. There is a chaos and energy to these final moments that is quite addictive. As the actors rushed to get ready, I rushed to finish the sketch.
John gathered the entire cast and had them hold hands in a circle. "It has been four amazing years. For 2000 years this has been going on. Make the audience think. Live each story to the fullest. See you on the other side!"
“PHANTASMAGORIA IV–“Hell Hath Risen”
Oct 11th – 31st 2013
Fri, Sat, Sun @ 8:30pm
Special shows Monday Oct 21st and 28th and Halloween show on the 31st! All shows at 8:30pm
(Halloween show includes a very special epilogue not seen on other nights!)
All evening performances at 8:30pm (Box opens at 7:50pm/Doors at 8:10pm)
Mandell Theatre, John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center
Loch Haven Park, Orlando, FL
General Admission $20.00 / Student and Senior $15.00
Reserve (for will call cash at door) 407-328-9005
Credit card orders www.redchairproject.com
Parking available in lots directly in Loch Haven, or in Science Center Parking Garage off of Princeton (Next to Mennello Museum of Art)