2012 Matches

2012 Matches:
Elyse Leyenberger (Photography '12) : Andrei Jackamets (BFA Photography '83)

Ryan Berardi (Sculpture '14) : Anthony Visco (BFA Sculpture '70)
Kaylyn Gray (Multimedia '13) & Michael Knaub (Multimedia '13) : Michele Kishita (BFA Painting '97, MFA Painting '10)
Diane Meck (Dance '13) : Geoffrey Kershner (BFA Acting '00)
Kennedy Dickerson (Photography '14) & Michael G Malloy (Photography '12) : Nancy Eichenbaum (BFA Photography '87)
Megan Beck (Illustration '13) & Lydia Guadagnoli (Illustration '14) : Veronica Cianfrano (MFA Painting '11)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cause and Effect and How to Deal

Friday, June 29, 2012.
a few minutes before 10:00 PM.

Endstation Theatre Company's 2012 Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival was reaching the height of its season, while the Sweet Briar College campus buzzed with activity...
The musical "Big River" was in full-swing, with two more box office record-breaking performances to go...
The tech week and opening of "Macbeth" was just ahead...
This year's Playwrights Initiative was about to start up, as well as rehearsals for "Unearthed" - a new musical being developed at the Festival...
A week of birthday celebrations was about to unfold...
And a very enjoyable, yet incredibly hot (over 100 degrees) performance of "The Comedy of Errors" had JUST wrapped up...

when the highly-destructive and unexpected "Derecho" hit.
        A derecho, as I have recently learned, is a "widespread, long-lived wind storm associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms."  Its damage is typically directed in one direction along a relatively straight path.  (http://www.spc.noaa.gov/misc/AbtDerechos/derechofacts.htm#definition)
The record-breaking derecho that hit the Sweet Briar campus traveled 600 miles from Chicago all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, near D.C.  The 60-80 mph winds caused widespread damage, downed hundreds of trees, and left more than 3 million people without power.

        The derecho also had serious effects on this summer's festival.  Thankfully, there was practically no damage to either outdoor set/space, despite the fact that there were large downed trees all over campus.  The company relocated to various parts of Lynchburg (about 30 min. away) where there was still power and AC.  Saturday's "Big River" show was cancelled, and Sunday's show was rescheduled to Tuesday, in hopes that the power would be back by then.  Sadly, it too had to be cancelled, and "Big River" lost its last two performances.
(a wonderful shot from the wonderful show, Big River)

        Tech for Macbeth was interesting...  Sunday's rehearsal was cancelled.  Monday's was performed in the space, but without any "tech."  Tuesday's was relocated to a theatre in Lynchburg so that we could finally hear the band's underscoring music -- which is amazing and adds even more tension to what's already in the play.  Wednesday's was performed in the space as a dress rehearsal, and the band was able to power up thanks to a generator in one of the buildings. 
And on Thursday... the power finally came back!!  We had our first and only Tech rehearsal, and we miraculously and successfully opened the next night!!  Opening night also marked the 5th anniversary of Endstation Theatre Company.

        Unfortunately, by opening night, I felt very sick, and by the end of the show the next day, I lost my voice and was put on vocal rest.  I think there were many factors that led to my voice loss, but since it had never happened to me before, it was a little scary... especially when it lasted the entire week.  But, by the magic of Linklater voice work (and after resting it all week), I magically got my voice back about an hour before the top of our next show that Friday, and haven't had problems since!!

        Although dealing with the storm was difficult at times, I'm amazed at how we pulled through!  It was hard being split up from each other, and having work supplies and personal items scattered in various locations, but everyone put in a lot of effort to make things work.  There was a lot of problem-solving, and teamwork, and being quick on our feet, and successfully adjusting to whatever came our way.  

(Me as the Young Native Woman & part of the Macbeth set)

        I think the most inspiring thing came when Geoff (director, UArts alum) and Krista (the scenic designer) decided that instead of completely cleaning up and polishing the Macbeth space, they would incorporate some fallen tree limbs and leaves into the set.  The storm had an impact on the community, so instead of ignoring it, they decided that we should embrace it.  The "mess" of the debris actually fits the tone of the play (plus, there actually are several references in Macbeth to storms), and also fits into the naturalistic design of the set/space, so it ended up not just fitting, but adding to what was already there.
        After the power came back, Endstation offered the Big River Celebration Concert for those who hadn't seen the show, for those wanting to hear the music again, and for the actors who worked hard to bring the show to life.
        I helped out with the Playwrights Initiative, assisting the producer with The Public Reading Series.  This series included the Special Guest, Ad Hoc, and Post Haste Reading Series.  At each reading, new plays written by the six visiting playwrights were read and discussed.  It was very exciting to hear such great new works, and to take part in their creative processes.  

                  (Yes, those are ipads.  Yes, we're awesome.)              (5 playwrights with Michael, the producer, standing middle)

        I can't believe this season is already winding down.  My internship is officially over in 1 week.  We have our last performance of The Comedy of Errors tonight :(  and two more Macbeth shows.  I'll be sure to post one more time about my experience as a whole.

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