In This World – Stories From The Road Week 3

The cast and crew of In This Worldis back with more adventures from their third week on the road!

Meilie striking a pose for the camera during the taping of the In This World Promo

Saturday – Roseneath Theatre Educator and Public Preview

It was great to be back at Roseneath where our rehearsals began. Prior to our performance, Dib and Dob and the Journey Home also performed. After weeks of seeing the mysterious set from Dib and Dob in the rehearsal space, it was great to finally see this fantastic show come to life.

Since our audience was older than the high school students that we’re normally acquainted with, we received different reactions than what we’ve been used to. It was a great first show and a very fast turn around that led right into the second show for the day. It’s always exciting to do a show for friends and family. It gives a different energy.

We may be veterans of the road at this point but Dib and Dob were just about to embark on their tour. So to celebrate all the work that has been put into getting both shows up and on the road, we threw a cast and crew party to end the day!

The Crew getting Meilie Ng mic’d up and ready to go

After two days of much deserved rest, we were in the truck by 7:30 AM and headed to our next school. Upon reaching our destination, we pulled around back and were greeted with smiling faces and Tim bits! It was a bit of a walk from the truck to the stage but our student helpers were full of positive energy and jokes that made the work easy and enjoyable.

Wednesday

With a slightly later start to our day, we made our way out to Markham for a performance at Middlefield CI. Pulling up to the load in location we were immediately assisted by teacher and student helpers. You could tell by the interaction between the students and their teachers that there was an admirable amount of respect shared between them. Thanks to their great help and a direct load in we experienced another fast set up.

A hazard of a tour like ours is that not only do the actors take a beating but so does the gear. Upon setup, we found that our laptop wasn’t working which meant no sound! It was a fantastic show but the sound effects certainly add to the tension in the play. After seeing the show 20+ times, it was strange to have that element missing. On the other hand the students were amazing. They gave great reactions, were very attentive, laughed, and expressed enthusiasm at all the right moments.

Thursday

With no schools booked for this day, we took advantage of having some ‘down time’ to put our fantastic show on film. Little did we know that Mother Nature would be fighting us with a rare spring ‘winter storm’. The cast and film crew bravely battled the elements, and we made it to Roseneath to start the load in and film crew set up.

Having new elements to consider such as mics and camera angles, definitely made things interesting for Oyin and Meilie. With specific scenes mapped out in advance we were able to shoot a great promo video to use to help sell this very important play to Ontario Schools next season.

Brokendolly Productions doing a Lighting check and Heather making sure that Meilie and Oyin’s mic’s are working on the set of In This World.

In This World – Stories from the Road Week One

We asked our cast and crew of In This World to share what’s been going on while they’re on tour. We’ll be updating our blog each week with their adventures!

Oyin Oladejo and Meilie Ng having fun before a show.

Day 1, Morning:
After a fantastic (and cushy) week of evening performances at the Tarragon Theatre, 7:30am comes early on our first official day of touring. After a small truck fire (new brakes can be tricky) we made it to our first school – Jean Vanier CSS. It feels so rewarding to hear the teens’ laughter and reactions! That’s the crowd this show was meant for!!! By 10:45 am it feels like 4:00 pm with the excitement of our first show leaving us exhausted. Then it was off to our next school and some lunch.

Early Mornings Are Hard. Meilie Ng and Oyin Oladejo are up EARLY to start their days on tour. (Don’t worry, they love it!)

Day 1, Afternoon:
Who needs a gym membership when you’ve got periactos! Our performance space at Branksome Hall is up 2 flights of stairs and although our set isn’t heavy, there are many pieces which means there were many trips. We had some great help from a group of ladies who may have been anxious to get out of class for the setup.
We dubbed this show “Buns of Steel”.

Day 2, Morning:
Our 2nd day of touring started a little late because Meilie had a nose bleed. We figured if it started again we can use it since her character Bijou get’s punched in the face and has her noise bleeding during the show :). Our performance area was a beautiful old theatre space that, despite it’s size, still gave us an intimate atmosphere. The students were incredibly attentive – but you would expect that from drama students! A huge thank you to our helpers. For future reference, if you want to move many large pieces of a set, it helps to have a future all-Canadian wrestler to help! All the best to the drama students at University of Toronto Schools and their upcoming play!

The “Bijou Bruise” Meilie Ng’s make-up application makes it look real!

Re-enacting “the punch” behind the scenes. Meilie Ng and Oyin Oladejo.

Day 2, Afternoon:
After 2 days of Meilie begging to stop for lunch, we found a great place in Mississauga for some fulfilling PHô. After stuffing ourselves into a ‘carb coma’ we made our way to The Woodlands School in Missisauga. Our student helpers were as efficient as they were professional. They took direction well, knew their stage right and stage left, were handy with tools and just dove in. It was the fastest load in and load out yet – we almost loaded the students with us to go on tour.
Day 3, Afternoon
Our last day/show of the week and with a lunch time start to our day, easy traffic, beautiful weather, and lots of laughs enroute, it was a good way to end our first week. Right from the moment we entered the school, we knew we were in good hands. Positive energy from staff and students put smiles on our faces. A large, beautiful auditorium and confident helpers made for an efficient setup and strike and a great feeling of accomplishment as we drove away at the end of the day. On to our next week of adventures!

Behind the Scenes in the Production Department

Heather Landon

Heather Landon Production Manager

Over the past few months we’ve been gearing up for our two spring tours – In This World and Dib and Dob and the Journey Home. Since our Production Department has been so hard at work getting everything ready to go for those first weeks of rehearsals, we thought we’d invite Heather Landon, our Production Manager, to share some insight into what’s been going on lately in the Production Department:

 

 

 

In This World Set being built at Production Canada. Set Design by Lindsay Anne Black.

It has been a very busy time for us in the Production Department! Coming up we have two fast and furious rehearsal periods (2 weeks each) for two shows that will happen in quick succession. In This World is a brand new show for us which means a longer process of design meetings with the production department, the Director Andrew Lamb, and the designers Lindsay Anne Black and Verne Good. The sound design is coming together nicely and the set is being built right now at Production Canada.Lindsay and I went to visit Production Canada on Valentine’s Day to see the set build progress, answer questions and help make decisions to avoid problems later. For example, we asked that the window frames be screwed in place without using glue so that if one of the plexi-glass pieces were ever damaged on tour it would be easier to replace. This professional shop will complete the set build in just two weeks so the Stage Manager, Thom Speck, can learn how to put it together and have it ready for rehearsals which begin March 4th.

In This World set being built at Production Canada. Set design by Lindsay Anne Black.

Digging up the Dib and Dob set to get ready for the 2013 spring tour. Set design by Karyn McCallum.

Dib and Dob is a remount which might seem easy. Just pull the set out of storage and you’re ready to go, right? Not quite so easy. Roseneath hasn’t toured this show in almost 10 years – before myself or anyone currently on staff worked with Roseneath. We have spent the last few months researching and trying to make all of the little tricks and gadgets work again! The set and costume designer, Karyn McCallum, has come in to help explain a few things and repaint some parts of the set that needed some TLC. We have built new tree branches, have been rebuilding new ‘fleurs’, the props all need quite a bit of work and the costumes will have to be new, updated and adjusted for at least one new actor. The sound design was on an old system that was still using a CD player and a mini-disk system. Designer Rick Sacks and I had to sit down and reprogram all of the music and sound cues into our more current computer SFX 6 playback system which will be much easier for the Stage Manager Sandi Becker.

I’m always excited to bring these shows to students, hear their reactions and discover their questions to understand what parts of the show make them think and change their views about the ideas we present. I love what I do – who else can answer ‘What are you up to?’ in the creative ways that a Production Manager can?

Heather Landon has been the Production Manager with Roseneath Theatre since 2008.