Monday, July 2, 2007
Its 630am Dublin time as I write this and we get picked up at 745am to go the airport for our return to the USA
Its been a great 3 weeks.
Friday, June 29, 2007
During a notes session with Patrick Sutton around 1 PM, Patrick received a phone call on his cell from Phylis. Patrick said what a shame it was for PR to miss the performance, and help up his phone so all could shout "hello". Then a door to the theatre opened and there was Phylis, shouting "Hello!!!!" Quite a surprise!!!!! The students were sort of in shock! We are so excited about tonight.
At least 2 sets of parents are here to see the show. Yesterday in Penney's, shopping for pantyhose (or "tights" as they call them here) a man grabbed me! It was Dr. Steven Franzoi, Amelia's dad, and her mom...they'd just arrived and Amelia was showing them her favorite shopping spots while they were jet lagged and waiting to get into their hotel. I know that Bonnie Auguston's folks are here from Portland Oregon, as well. How cool!
Patrick gave notes to the cast, and we have this afternoon off to prepare for the opening call at 6:30 tonight. It feels weird to have the afternoon off, and not be rehearsing or running around looking for props/costumes.
David & I treated ourselves to a healthy SLOW FOOD (as opposed to Fast Food) lunch of Japanese noodles, then came back to our little flat for a nap.
More later!!! I;m hitting the sack for an hour before getting on the bus back to Smock Alley.
We faced a challenge Wednesday when we lost a bank of dimmers, essentially eliminating 4 lights. I contacted Maisie, the production manager, for guidance and she started making calls. I made some adjustments to the plot to compensate for the loss of the dimmers, and we were ready to go for tech that evening.
I stroll in the theatre last night for the preview performance, and as we were checking the lights, we discovered that 4 more dimmers weren't working. This was a bit of a problem as our preview was scheduled to begin in an hour.
The playwright, Martin, seemed genuinely happy, after sitting through the preview last night without pen and paper in hand. Patrick, the director, was pleased, and encouraged the cast to let it all out for tonight's performance.
Around 11am today, we will get together and work some scenes and moments.....then come back for opening night.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Rehearsals have resumed in Smock Alley; I am spending my time examining the exisiting light plot to plan what lights to re-use and what additional lights to hang.
The plan is to hang and circuit the lights Tuesday afternoon and evening. We will need to have all the lights focused by Wednesday evening when we start teching the show.
I made the production manager happy by cutting two booms and some cable. The huge step unit will be preset right where I want to put the booms.
The set is looking great, there are huge barrells with planks that Dave built on top of them. The props are outstanding: buckets, sacks, flags, a bathtub....all great stuff.
In rehearsal, the cast is working through the play with Patrick making adjustments. And the composer, Susan, has arrived to help with the music.
I have come to accept that if one travels to Ireland in June, one must expect to be wet. All the time. No, strike that. God laughs and allows periods of mere grey in which your clothes dry out (almost), and you walk thru the streets feeling lucky and happy to be alive. And then it rains. RAINS. Sideways and vertically. Feet squish due to sodden shoes. Water soaks up your pants hems to knees. Hair slicks to your head. You are amazed that thru it all, you are sweating and your glasses fog up due to the humidity. Paper shopping bags disintegrate and dump your treasure in puddles. Your umbrella bends inside out in the wind, and the fabric tears off the frame, leaving a spider skeleton of flimsy imported-from-China wires. You wonder how you could have ever thought that an umbrella would be enough protection from the rain, not a rubber suit. You look at other tourists from America, students in their flip flops, middle agers in their golf jackets with zip-on hoods, drenched to the bone with no umbrellas and wonder – what were they thinking?? I wonder if any of them live in Seattle and are used to this? David describes this weather as "torturous". Makes him want to read Sylvia Plath and open a vein.
I love Ireland. The people are so wonderfully friendly; there are great places to see and things to do. The culture is rich and the adventures are many. But I think I am growing webs between my toes...
Had another day of props/costume shopping with David. Went to the 2 Euro store (our equivalent, although not monetarily, of the Dollar store) and bought things like paint, brushes, hair clips as cheap as we can. We can't find blankets ANYWHERE! They all use duvets and covers, mucho euros. And we need 3 small ones for show. So we went to the good folks at Murphy Sheehey fabric shop, where we've been about 4 times now for other needs, and bought the remains of a moth eaten bolt of fabulous hounds tooth checked wool at a discount to make our own. I bought the 3rd pair of boots to try for Ashlea - a used pair of Eastern European combat boots that I pray will fit her. Lots of interesting conversion tables consulted between the clerk and myself to determine her size in Communist codes. Shop keepers here are all so nice - let you return things. Antique dealers here rent to theatre companies and films on a regular basis, and seem happy to do it. Folks all say thank you many times over, and are glad to put some show fliers on their counter. Even the semi-porn JOKE SHOP where we found stage blood and liquid latex right next to the fake penises!!
We are almost on first name basis with folks at Lonegan's hardware store. Been to the charity shops on almost a daily basis - and we know certain parts of town quite well now. It's fun to have a mission, but we are really ready to get into Smock Alley and get this sucker mounted! Know we will have more problems to solve this coming week.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
You couldn't pay me $5 million to drive a car in this town. The traffic patterns make little sense to me. I would get in an accident for sure.
Our primary mode of transport is the bus which we have vaguely figured out. It costs 1euro to get from our hotel to the theatre. Deb and Dave have purchased a weekly pass for unlimited riding.
What I find amazing are the bus drivers here. They are able to maneuver their large vehicles in the tiniest of roads. This photo is from Galway, note the buses on the narrow streets.
Today, Liam and I met with Mazzie (the production manager) and a guy named Steven. Apparently, he has worked in the space and he was able to answer our questions and gave us some tips. Most importantly, he told us each dimmer (there are 48) can hold 8 amps. With 220 v0lts in Ireland, that means we can plug 1760 watts in each dimmer.
Steven will be with us Tuesday afternoon for the 'get in' as they call it here (We call it a load in. ), so we should be in good shape. The strike is called the 'get out'.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
I will be putting about 2 days of pictures per album. Enjoy!
A heron outside a window in Galway.
We are now running thru a 2nd time, this time in the theatre as it was locked when we started at 10am. We started rehearsal in a large room next to the theatre. Eventually, we moved into the theatre space.
We have begun week 2 of rehearsals, with more rehearsal time this week the day. Deb and Dave have been scouring the town looking for props and having good success. I have to present our lighting needs by our production meeting today at 1pm.
The show is taking good shape, and we will stage the ending today.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Well, those are my first impressions of Galway. I look forward to taking in this new side of the country. Tomorrow I have a trip planned up north to Swinford, in County Mayo, to meet with some Irish relatives of mine that I have never met and know nothing about. I am excited for it and will be sure to keep you all posted after the trip.
Overall, we have had a very good week and I am happy with the progress we are making on the show. I also really like the part I have been given and hope that I`ll be able to flesh it out the way I see it in my head. As far as our cultural visits have gone, I feel that we have truly seen a lot already. The shows we saw were interesting, Sweeney Todd was very well performed and had to be one of the best staged shows I have ever seen due to its creepiness and Barefoot in the Park brought me my first experience seeing Irish actors attempt American accents. It was weird to be on the other side of this. It was a little rough. They had a talk-back for us afterwards and lets just say that they thought they nailed the American accent. We were also brought on a general walking tour of Dublin where we saw many landmarks and got just a general history of Ireland and the city. Trinity College`s campus sadly put Marquette to shame. The Ghost Bus Tour was not very funny (although the Borat-quoting guide thought so) but was very worth it for the stops and actual stories.
Our trip to the Art Museum was also very interesting, seeing things from paintings, to stained-glass windows, to Francis Bacon`s very own, intact art studio, to short films. I spent a lot of time in the last mentioned. But, overall, the most interesting visit for me was to the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks. Aside from the many elaborate objects on display, the museum had a recently opened, huge exhibition about the history of the Irish military from the Middle-Ages through the fighting for Irish Independence and then to the present. Some of us spent a lot of time in this exhibit, myself and Liam personally staying for over an hour. It just really drew me in. I can`t get over just how much history there is to learn about this country as a whole. I think its just shocking coming to a country with so much more recorded history than we have, as the Europeans did not discover America until 500 years ago.
Well, I`ll spare you any more rambling for today. I`m off to take in Galway and will hopefully be able to write again soon.
Patrick was happy with the company's progress because he feels they have captured the 'soul' of the play.
The cast will begin memorizing their lines this weekend.
Rehearsals resume Monday June 18 at 1pm.