The live tweet is in progess, follow @TheatreOCU to learn more about technical rehearsals for School of Theatre productions #AaronLightingProf #HeadofDnP #ProfAsselin and more
The design process for Treasure Island was a little different compared to other period shows I’ve done because the “storybook” nature of pirates and Treasure Island were more important to the director and design team than true realism. The novel Treasure Island is one of the most dramatized books of all time, which means that our audience’s understanding and ideas of pirates will stem from classic stereotypes. We focused more on the "fantastic" qualities of the story, and this gave way to more emotional and abstract research than literal or historical during our design process.
My favorite design aspect of Treasure Island was the decision to set the story on a sharp, rough, rocky terrain, as opposed to a tropical island beach. We wanted to reintroduce both the novelty of pirates as well as the potential for danger and terror they imply. By setting it in a dark, harsh landscape, we chose to emphasize the feelings of aggression and unpredictability.
OCU is great about allowing us opportunities early on so that student designers and technicians are given the chance to grow as much as possible in their time here. The sheer number of productions we work on allows students to collaborate with so many different combinations of people that we are truly pushed to our potential and every new creation shows growth from the last.
The wealth of creative ideas within the OCU production team never ceases to amaze me. The ideas truly come from everyone and our need for collaboration runs deep. I love how involved everyone can be and that some of my best choices weren't initially my ideas, but developed from conversations with other designers or the director.
Senior, BFA Design/Production major – scene design emphasis
Scenic Designer for Treasure Island
Check out what a typical technical rehearsal is like for TheatreOCU students. This Saturday January 26th, join us as we’ll be live tweeting our 10 out of 12 technical rehearsal for Treasure Island, the spring co-production between TheatreOCU and Oklahoma Children’s Theatre.
The student designers, stage manager, faculty and other technicians will tweet throughout the day. Check in to find out what a typical technical rehearsal is like for students at TheatreOCU. We’ll get started at 10:00am on Saturday.
Follow us @TheatreOCU
Head of Design & Production
A group of OCU Theatre Design and Production students and faculty are at the 2013 USITT-SW Winter Symposium in Huntsville, TX this weekend. Three students entered their designs in the student design and technology competition:
Sydney Russell, scenic design for Another Part of the House
Jeff Sherwood, sound design for Another Part of the House
Jason Stewart, sound design for A Christmas Carol
They’re eligible for lots of cool prizes, including a free trip to the USITT National Conference in Milwaukee this March. They are also participating in a variety of workshops including: Rendering, Mask Making, Puppet Building, Projections, Color Theory, and Signal Flow for Audio. The symposium is a great venue for networking and making connections to new colleagues as well as potential jobs.
TheatreOCU is back in full swing! The spring semester has started and we already have four shows in rehearsal. Treasure Island (a co-production with Oklahoma Children’s Theatre) was back to rehearsal a few days before classes started and the sword fighting is to die for. Barber of Seville (the first Opera of the semester) has begun music rehearsals and will be moving into staging rehearsals this coming week. In addition to our main stage season, our first two Stage II’s of the semester, Julius Caesar and As Bees in Honey Drown, are in full swing! Auditions for the final three Stage II’s and the spring OCUEdge season will finish up this weekend. And to top it off, we cast The NYC Senior Showcase. This is an opportunity for our students to audition in front of some of the biggest casting agents in NY this summer!
It’s been a busy first week for our design and production areas as well. In addition to all of the production work, our Design and Production students have been working on their KCACTF (Kennedy Center American Collegiate Theatre Festival) presentations. In addition, several of our students are off to present and attend seminars at the USITT Southwest Symposium in Huntsville, TX this weekend.
As always we’re keeping busy but loving every moment! The excitement of the new semester is always amazing: new opportunities, new goals for every student, and a chance to try out new ideas and make big design choices.
Happy New Year from the Production Management office, and Happy Spring Semester from TheatreOCU!
Three years ago the presidents of APO and USITT decided to try something new and unheard of. The theatre technicians and the actors took a step outside of the theatre building and signed up to be a part of OCU’s annual Homecoming events. I’ve participated for the past three years, and have led the team for the past two. Our team has expanded to three organizations, led by the students of USITT (the theatre design & production students), along with Alpha Psi Omega (the theatre honors society), and Spectrum (the universities LGBT organization). We participate in many events amongst the Greek houses and other small organizations to show our OCU pride and passion.
Homecoming is a way for us to use our creativity in a completely different way. We spend many nights together as a team planning and creating school spirited designs. Our organization’s favorite event is the “Spirit Structures” (essentially a float that stays in one location). Over the course of 5 days, with approximately 10 people helping out, we created an oversized “GAME OF LIFE: The OCU Edition”. The board includes squares from the very first day you get to campus to the day you graduate. It has 3D buildings, a tangible spinner to play the game, and includes several elements that the committee required us to incorporate creatively.
As the Homecoming Chair for our group, I led the group in the designs, gathering materials and people to help. With so many rehearsals going on at once, finding time and gathering people to help out is difficult. But, after three years, we have team members that love Homecoming so much that they’re willing to spend their nights outside painting float, or working of props, or spend the night learning dances! As the week comes to a close on my Senior Year Homecoming I can honestly say some of the best memories I will take away from college comes from Homecoming week each year.
It’s the final weekend of Another Part of the House and as we close up this production I can easily say this has been a journey I won’t forget! I was lucky enough to begin my process many months ago during the design process. I always find being part of the design process is fantastic, especially in an abstract production such as APOTH. Hearing how our small Black Box space was going to be transformed into a 6-room house helped me as I began my own prep work. The spatial limitations were really important for me to take into consideration as the stage management team began working out entrances and exits, costume quick changes, deck changes, and prop hand offs. Through the rehearsal process our team worked very closely with our director to come up with creative solutions for being quiet backstage as well as onstage transitions and tracking the performers props from room to room.
When we moved into the space and began layering in the lights and sounds the show was brought to a new dimension. We had a few unique challenges as a stage management team to overcome, such as a booth where only part of the stage was visible. The production team worked together to solve the challenges and the show has been running for a week so far.
For me this was an adventure because this was the first piece of contemporary “magical realism” I’ve had the thrill to work on. Being surrounded by performers who were embodying this genre added a different vibe to our process and how we worked within our rehearsal space. Now off to finish up this spectacular run!
As the Costume Designer for Another Part of the House, my process included design meetings with the director and other designs, the creation of the rendering to communicate my vision to the costume shop, fittings, and dress rehearsals. The process starts with design meetings where the director, Sarah, told us her vision and concept for the show and where she wanted to go with it. From there I collected images of the time period as well as images that inspired me for color, texture, shape, and mood. The time period was set in the Victorian era, 1895, the inspiration images consisted of pictures of heat, mourning, the Cuban culture, and family.
I developed a set of sketches that were what I saw the costumes looking like and Sarah picked her favorites. Then I created my final renderings, which were the designs to communicate to everyone working on the show that this is what the costumes are going to look like. Then I started to go to storage to pull some already made garments that would work for the shop and I went fabric shopping for the pieces I wanted to build.
The next step was to call the actors in for fittings. Part of the Victorian era's aesthetic is a form fitting waist, therefore the actors needed to come prepared with their corsets or we couldn't fit them because their costume wouldn't fit.
After the show was assembled and the garments made we had a dress parade which was a great time for me because I got to see what the costumes look like under show light and what all the actors look like as an ensemble wearing the costumes. Then came the dress rehearsal involving hair and makeup and getting the actors familiar with when and where their costume changes were. Finally, we opened the show and we had many fresh pairs of eyes watching our creations as a whole.
Another Part of the House was the biggest and best learning experience for me, I'm only a sophomore so I felt excited and nervous at first but I had a great support team and the show was a success. I'm very proud of myself.
After I graduate from OCU, I'd like to work for a company touring a show as a dresser or working on a cruise ship. Then I'd like to go to graduate school, and eventually become the resident costume designer for a professional theatre company.