Thursday, April 22, 2010

On the Theater

Apologies for my silence, blogosphere. (Blagonet? Interbleg?) My extended absence has been due to a number of factors like my own apathy, various hassles and busyness, and especially the two weeks I spent working several hours a day as a stagehand on a play in Rarig, Live the Revolution. It was an epic show in Rarig's basement Xperimental theater exploring the revolutionary spirit, and I'm glad to have been a part of it.

I find it perplexing how along with my computer science major, I'm developing a strong interest in theater, particularly technical theater. I love going behind the scenes, building things, making things work. Maybe it's the same urge to learn how things work under the surface and make them work that makes theater so interesting to me. One of my ultimate goals is to figure out some way to combine these two passions, but as of now I have no ideas; it's looking likely that I'll get a job in computing and work in theater whenever I have time.

My job for Live the Revolution was pretty simple. I set backstage and worked with props to make things go smoothly for the actors. I moved things around, held the curtain open for them, and especially worked with coiling and tying the rope. (I should devote a future post to the particulars of rope, which people could benefit from knowing) If the audience had no idea I existed, then it was a good show. Since the show was in a small black box setting, my section of the backstage was smaller than a prison cell and a good deal darker.

The play itself was quite a unique one. Apparently it had been forming since last fall as interested actors signed on. They helped write it themselves, along with the director and dramaturg, and several of them recited poems during the play that they presumably wrote about issues and people important to them. The play was an abstract, metaphorical exploration of revolution and fighting for change. Though it raised some political issues I wasn't so sure of, I really enjoyed its poetry and inspiration to stand up for what you believe in. Besides regular acting, it contained a shadow puppet play, a musical number, and numerous wordless songs composed by the cast by each contributing simple sounds.

Overall, I was amazed by the uniqueness of the play stemming from its strong message and the level of involvement of the actors themselves in its creation. I only signed on for the last two weeks before its run, and I felt humbled to be a part of something so big and involved. That about sums up my love for tech; I don't like being in the spotlight, I like being the one running it, making things work and being a small but integral part of something amazing. Hanging lights is always fun, too.

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