I Hate Hamlet

Posted in Scenic Design on August 19th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

With classes starting in two weeks, it’s time to get “I Hate Hamlet” to a point where the shop can start figuring out how to build it. So while I’m updating syllabi and cleaning my office and worrying about the book, I’m also working up a Sketchup model of the set. . .

Boeing Boeing

Posted in Lighting Design on August 15th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

We opened “Boeing Boeing” at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre last night. Here are a couple of photos from the photo call.

Boeing Boeing

Posted in Lighting Design on August 8th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Today was focus for Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of “Boeing Boeing,” in the lovely Cabot Theatre in the Broadway Theatre Center.

Here’s a shot of the stage as we get rolling (scenic design by Brandon Kirkham):

And during the day when we’d paused for something and I had the electricians pull the color from all the flower template units — the note to do split gel hadn’t made it down the line, so it was a small project for me to do at a pause.

Kristine, the day’s board op, at the tech table, running the plot and the Expression.

After focus is over, here’s the director, Michael Cotey, having a conversation with our stage manager Judy Martel. And my paperwork scattered around next to the board.

A view into the house as the actors filter in:

Tech is tomorrow, but I played with base looks over the rehearsal and started putting stuff together, as well as creating a few notes for the morning. . .

Boeing Boeing

Posted in Lighting Design on August 3rd, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Milwaukee Chamber Theatre’s production of “Boeing Boeing” (directed by Michael Cotey) has been in rehearsal now for a couple weeks. My plot has been drafted and delivered, and the hang began yesterday. Last night, I drove out to watch the designer run through, and spent this morning revising the cue synopsis.

Since it’s a farce, there’s a lot of running in and out of rooms at three different times of day, so one of the questions is whether lights get turned on and off in rooms, when this might occur, will switch flicking be something extra that actors have to worry about, and what the visual payoff might be. Hang continues today, and focus commences on Friday with first tech this Saturday!

Boeing Boeing

Posted in Lighting Design on July 23rd, 2015 by Eric Appleton

At the drafting table, today, working on the over stage plate for the upcoming Milwaukee Chamber Theatre production of “Boeing Boeing.” With the set pushed hard against the proscenium, with steps and platforming, with a ceiling overhang, it’s next to impossible to move the lift around the stage for focus, so I have to position on-stage things where we can get to them, or readily bounce focus them. Adding to this is the multiple upstage rooms — not much action in them, just people rushing in and out, but they still have to be part of the picture, that means I’m also trying to figure out what units can be mounted where to best effect. This play doesn’t look like much, but it’s been pretty darned complicated to figure out. . .

Boeing Boeing

Posted in Lighting Design on July 22nd, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Attended the first rehearsal (read through for donors and guests) of Boeing Boeing yesterday, and afterwards shared the watercolor looks I’d been working on with the director, Michael Cotey. He liked where I was heading, which is a good thing, since the plot is due on Sunday. . .

Here’s a line of them, spread out on the dining room table:

And the drafting table, gearing up for some layout:

Boeing Boeing

Posted in Lighting Design on July 20th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Doing some work on “Boeing Boeing” at home this week, in preparation for the first rehearsal on Tuesday (and my plot is due a week from today). I know working up lighting images with watercolor is a bit old school, but I just like sitting down with the paints and a line drawing of the set and working stuff out.

Suds and Boeing Boeing

Posted in General Production, Lighting Design, Scenic Design on July 13th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

I swung by campus today to spend some time in the office on the upcoming production of “Boeing Boeing” at Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Here’s a start of thoughts on the drafting table:

The challenge of this show is going to be how to get anything over the stage — certainly we can hang things before scenic load in, but once the set is in place, there’s very little space for a lift to move around, except right down center. It will be interesting.

I also popped my head into the Hicklin to see how the set of “Suds” is going. It looks pretty done (and I’m told that student Alison Lozar did the lion’s share the paint work):

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Posted in Lighting Design on July 9th, 2015 by Eric Appleton

Last night was the invited dress for the Optimists’ “A Midsummer Night Dream,” in Milwaukee’s Kadish Park. Once again, a technical challenge to get as much as you can out of a little as you have. The lighting consists of 20 1.2 k dimmers (would have been 24, but one of the borrowed packs didn’t work — ) borrowed from Quasimondo, 4 fresnels borrowed from In Tandem, 4 fresnels borrowed from Bo Johnson, 6 36 degree Source Fours and 6 floods borrowed from the UW-Whitewater, a Microvision borrowed from Steve traut, 3 strings of lights borrowed from Jason Fassl, and some home/garden floods bought from the hardware store.

Here’s the crew setting up last night. Since it’s in the park and totally open to whomever wanders through, everything that’s not in the air has to get struck at the end of every night. Which means it all has to get set back up before the show. . .

This is the booth:

Since the set designer teaches at Wisconsin Lutheran (which is also where the company rehearses), most of the crew are students there.

Here’s what it looks like, all set up, from atop the hill heading toward the bathrooms:

Here we are at the start of the show:

And as the evening progresses, we end up here:

Suds and A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Posted in Lighting Design, Scenic Design on July 1st, 2015 by Eric Appleton

On my way in to Milwaukee yestderday, I stopped at the shop both to rummage for some unistrut hardware and to see how construction on “Suds’ was going. Our TD, Steve, and the students have made excellent progress.

Here’s Quinn working on the laundry tables:

And Alison continues painting everything pretty much single-handedly:

How things look from the booth:

And then, on to Kadish Park for Shakespeare in the Park. Bo and I spent about forty five minutes trying to figure out why the dimmers weren’t talking to the board. Turned out we needed the five pin to three pin adapter that was concealed in a compartment in the road case (even though the manual said the board could speak directly through 3 pin, and there were two three pin ports on the back of the board).

I then complained about the board in Facebook, and an old acquaintance at ETC said he had a personal Microvision in his garage that might still be working and he’d be willing to lend it to us. He’s going to check it out tonight, and who knows? Tomorrow we might have a Microvision and won’t have to run the show the old fashioned way. . .

And here’s a shot of the theatre at the end of the evening’s run, under a full moon.