Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Remember the poll...

I am fascinated to know what you think about the suspended choice at the end the play.
For those of you who have seen the play, please tell me what you think Mrs. Alving does after the play ends. The poll is located down on the right side of this page. I will leave it up so that you can see how the results turned out as well.

(UPDATE: The poll feature seems to be malfunctioning for this entire website not just this page, but vote anyways and we'll see how it comes out.)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Playworks @ Triad Stage

We hosted Playworks this past Saturday in partnership with the Theatre Education program at UNC Greensboro and North Carolina Theatre Arts Educators.

Above we have Alexander Quitman Volpi who was the White Oak High School playwright of
The One, which was directed by UNCG student Whitney Chilton (to his right), and standing and moderating is Alan Cook, professor of Theatre at UNCG.

In attendance was Mr. Jim Fisher, head of the UNCG Theatre Dept.
UNCG actors (left to right) Elizabeth Pigg, Logan Ford, Amanda Frazier, and Brandon Rieder perform Great Minds Think Aloud by Jordan Hamlin of Asheville High School.

Playworks is a program created by North Carolina Theatre Arts Educators where elementary through high school students write plays (sometimes with an actual playwright in residence to help them) and then one script is selected to be performed here at Triad Stage by UNCG actors.

It's a wonderful opportunity for students to see their own words and ideas come to life onstage.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ibsen's Birthday is on March 20th...

"I will be 181 years old."

"No, you can't be!" decries Mrs. Alving.

"How do you make your skin and plays look so radiant & fresh?"

"I play with peoples' minds--it's what I do.
I also like to dance with myself, you see."

"And, I was young once, and was quite a hit with the young ladies..."

"Until they found out I was made into a puppet."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Laurelyn Dossett goes big time... (symphonically)

(rock star when she's not waxing classical)

For those of you who have seen the past Preston Lane & Laurelyn Dossett collaborations that include Brother Wolf, Beautiful Star, & Bloody Blackbeard, you will be interested to know about happenings with those productions outside of Greensboro:

  • The North Carolina Symphony in Raleigh is putting together a summer pops concert tour called Blue Skies & Golden Sands that will include a few of Ms. Dossett's songs from Bloody Blackbeard.
  • The Water Tower Theatre in Addison, Texas performed Beautiful Star as their holiday show this past December and was wonderfully received as well.
  • The Human Race Theatre in Dayton, Ohio performed Brother Wolf in collaboration with a dance company which ran through January 2009 through February.
  • And “Anna Lee,” a song Laurelyn wrote for Brother Wolf, was recorded by Levon Helm for his Grammy-winning album Dirt Farmer.
  • A youth version of Bloody Blackbeard entitled Blackbeard is touring the eastern counties of North Carolina in April, performed by Triad Stage actors and funded by NC Arts Council.
  • And visit here for Laurelyn Dossett's website full of photos, video, & her calendar. (Have fun at the Ramble, Laurelyn.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ghosts in tech

Helene Alving played by Gloria Biegler waits as lights are adjusted.
(photo by Jeff West)
David Smith, the sound designer, tweaks some music used as underscoring in the show.

Eric Tysinger, our stage manager, reviews & corrects cues in his promptbook.

Here's a glance at the set without giving too much away...

A few small props that become a big deal...

And detail of the stage floor & Mrs. Alving's dress...

Shelly, the scenic art apprentice, talks with our production manager, Christy.

Rebecca Nerz as Regina Engstrand, Gloria Biegler as Mrs. Alving, & Blake DeLong as Osvald Alving.

From left to right: Stuart Nelson the lighting designer; Nick Hussong the master electrician, Howard Jones the set designer , Eric Tysinger the stage manager, Preston Lane the director, & David Smith the sound designer.

Blake in his dressing room that is decorated with self-portraits of 19th century painters, because Osvald Alving, the character he plays, is also a painter during that time.
(photo by Jeff West)

Regina and her bucket.
(photo by Jeff West)

Jakob Engstrand played by Jeff West floats a proposition with Rebecca Nerz playing Regina behind him.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Learn About Norway!

Why learn about Norway?
Because Henrik Ibsen set his play Ghosts there (along with all his other plays, too).
Wikipedia actually has a lot of cool info... Do you know what a stave church is?
Do you know where Norway is exactly?
Did you know that Norway was once part of Sweden & Denmark?
Did you know Scandinavians believe in elves??

Norway's geography & weather actually figure prominently in our current play.
Even Ibsen once quipped, "If you don't know Norway, you can't really understand my plays."

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

a photo shoot

Gloria Biegler & Blake Delong

We had the publicity photo shoot at

the Blandwood Mansion in Greensboro.

It was originally built in 1795, and expanded through the next century--so we thought it was good enough for a photo shoot of our current period piece.

These photos are a bit ad hoc because I was helping direct, and then just snapped some photos of my own of over the real photographer who is a fella named Nyght Falcon.
(A couple of Nyght Falcon's photos can currently be seen in the slideshow on the right.)

Here we were going for one of the more famous images from the play, Ghosts. Osvald has just told his mother some rather terrible news, and frequently the play ends with Osvald embracing his mother, or Mrs. Alving embracing him. I have always been reminded of the Pieta when seeing this image in the play's context. It's the suffering and cradling aspect that links it best.

For more information about Ibsen & Ghosts, I would recommend exploring these two websites:
Voyages in Drama with Ibsen

Ghosts in Rehearsal & in Build

Here's a sneak peek into rehearsal & the build...

Scout rolls up a lighting plot.

Jenny the carpenter drills into the skylight high above the stage.
Left, Tom the master carpenter, explains to James, the carpentry intern, how to tie off a clove hitch.
Gloria Biegler, Jeff West, & David McCann rehearse one of the opening scenes of Ghosts. (Ms. Biegler is wearing a rehearsal skirt in order to begin to get used to eventually wearing a dress. Actors often begin wearing specific articles of clothing in rehearsal, even if they aren't exact replicas, so that they can begin feeling a difference in how to sit, walk, or stand.)