This past Sunday, the cast and crew of Urinetown did what every cast and crew dreads the most: the strike. All of the love, sweat, and tears that went into constructing the set was thrown up into a fog of sawdust and neutral colored paint as we took down all of the set pieces and repainted the floor boards old black. Everyone was assigned a crew: some handled the packaging and return shipping of the costumes, and others were assigned to clean the backstage area. But if you were like the ever-so ambitious Christiena Auguste, you signed yourself up for the toughest and most physically exhausting crew: the demolition crew. For some reason, unknown to me, I managed to convince myself that learning how to use a screw driver properly and ripping down a bunch of wood would be “no big deal. Ah, it’ll be a piece of cake!” It was anything but a piece of cake; however, that frustration didn’t last long because about five minutes into it, someone showed me the secret to getting a screw out in less than 10 seconds. After that we had smooth sailing! We spent most of Sunday morning just taking down the set, recycling wood and screws, and repainting the theatre floor black. After all of our hearts were “metaphorically” ripped out of our chests from seeing our beloved set being taken down, we were able to refresh ourselves with a trip to the beautiful and intriguingly constructed home of Rebecca Rovezzi ’14. Once the twenty minute ride was over, we entered the house to be greeted with some of the best Italian food the world has to offer, along with a warm welcome from the Rovezzi family. Just to sum up the events of the evening, we laughed, we cried, we ate, and we slept on the ride back. What a day!
on Wednesday February 22, 2012 at 09:12AM
All of Thursday the entire cast and crew were anxious and excited, charged with nervous energy throughout the class day. We would give each other high-five’s or hugs when we saw each other throughout the day, proudly wearing our Berkshire Theater sweatshirts (as it is tradition to do on opening night). When everyone arrived at the theater by 3:20, we all knew that this was the night that all the long weeks of hard work and determination had been building up to. The theater was packed for our first performance with a great mixture of family, friends, and peers. The show was electric and everyone felt great about the first night. We all committed fully to our characters and to this piece of art that we created together and all feel so proud of. It was a wonderful feeling to share the show with a audience for the first time. And I know we can’t wait to do it twice more. Congratulations to the cast and the crew for a fantastic opening night performance! On with the show!
Tech Rehearsal…wow, quite a large topic to cover. For those of you reading this who don’t know what a tech rehearsal is, it’s basically a very slow run of the show where we add in lights, sound, mics, costumes, props, and the rest of the fun stuff that makes our show amazing. Although it seems like a lot to add in at once, it’s not as bad as you think because we set aside over 12 hours to do both acts. This seems like a lot on paper, but being there, the time flies. With the help of Liz Wheeler, who does our make-up, and Mrs. Warner, who helps with the costumes, we are able to focus only on our tasks and not about aesthetic things. We would not be able to do this show without these rehearsals. There is just so much to do! These couple of days really helped bring the cast together. We bond over the show, over our lack of time, and over our pure joy for what we are doing. After “tech” we become a family. We are all working together to accomplish something amazing and none of that would be possible without the tedious tech days.
The Urinetown Tech Dress was filled with firsts. The whole ensemble was, for the first time, experiencing putting both acts together, charging through without stopping for the whole play. Not only was it our first time running the whole show, but for the first time, we got to rehearse with the entire band, (added was a trombonist and saxophonist). Microphones were added thanks to Chris, our lifesaver sound guy. We now had essentially all of the props, costumes and makeup, and for the first time, the show was only three days away. For many of the cast it was also their first experience performing with a band, which if you haven’t done before can be pretty intimidating; it was definitely tricky but no one ever gave up on their singing. Of course being a tech rehearsal, we had to juggle these new clubs as best we could. There were things we had to fix, but it wouldn’t be a tech rehearsal if it weren’t a little messy.
-- Liz Butler '13
on Wednesday February 15, 2012 at 09:13AM
Today we had the props and costume load in. This means we brought in all of the props and costumes and made sure we had everything we needed. We also sorted everything so that it was in its proper place. This is one of my favorite days because I love seeing everyone wearing their costumes for the first time. After a person has their costume they change on stage. I loved seeing that start today. Adding props and costumes seems to make everything more real. I can't even believe how soon the show is, but I can't wait. You can feel the excitement growing among the cast as we head into our final week of rehearsal. The cast and the costume and props crews have been amazing. We're lucky to be such a strong supportive group as we near the end of our journey and I can only imagine how excited we will be when we get to wear our costumes on stage in front of an audience. Everyone is going to look great! Can't wait :)
Long weekend was truly a time of practice and rest… for the most part. Upon returning from break, cast and crew members were starting to get nervous. However, despite our nerves, everybody stepped up and executed a positively grand rehearsal. We are continuing to work our butts off as opening night inches closer and closer. It’s incredible to me that no matter what day it is, we all show up at rehearsal ready for hours of action. It takes an extremely dedicated cast to practice like we do. Kudos, guys.
Hello, my name is Will McGovern and I play the bass in Berkshire School’s production of Urinetown. I can imagine some of you might wonder why any musical production might need a player of the bass guitar, and the answer is quite simple: musical theatre contains music. Not only that, but real live people need to play this music as the actors perform on stage. This is where my fellow orchestra members and I come in: we play the music.
Now us band members do not just simply show up and quietly obey the request of Urinetown’s fantastic director Mr. Howard. No, we feel that we are not just faceless lemmings plinking away at our little instruments; we are in fact just as much members of the production as the folks on stage or the folks backstage. I feel that the greatest part about working with the cast and crew of Urinetown is that in these last few weeks of polishing our performance I truly feel that every person involved with the production really understands that this is real. I believe that we all really get that we’re all pieces of the same puzzle, and that in the end, we all have to pull the same weight to make this show not only a reality, but a fantastic reality.
In the final three-week stretch, the show is really pulled together, known to most as “crunch-time.” Rehearsals get progressively longer and the final touches of the masterpiece of a musical are added. In these weeks of steady focus, the cast of Urinetown has set their attention primarily in diving into the second act. Recently, we worked on “What is Urinetown?” and “Snuff that girl.” Cast members must also concentrate on preparing for the Act II line run on Monday. In addition, the cast has worked on executing various dance numbers, including “Mr. Cladwell.” In the weeks closest to performance, the technical elements and key details are added to the show. Over the past few Saturdays, cast and crew members have spent time measuring, nailing, and painting the set for Urinetown. As of now, the set is nearing completion, but still has work to be done on it. The upcoming period of tech week particularly will incorporate the essential technical aspects of the production including lighting, sound, costumes, and the like. Tech week is routinely the most stressful week with the stakes held high for everyone, but the cast and crew are confident that their copious amounts of efforts and time put into Urinetown will be well worth it in the end. We are very excited about the upcoming performances and hope to see you there!
Last Saturday saw our cast and crew's third set-build. Both flats were completed, including a light fixture on our Amenity # 9 flat. Alyssa took on the challenge of making our backdrop's buildings look more realistic; she painted in windows, doors, etc. giving the once-drab silhouettes a fun and lively facade. After the weekend, the cast got back to work and is in the midst of finishing the last bits of blocking for Act 1. Wait till you hear the entire cast singing the finale together; I get chills every time! Outside of rehearsal we're all busy working on our tech jobs: props, cast and crew bios, and costumes to name a few - an extra, healthy dose of responsibility for us all. Things are shaping up nicely, and our excitement and anticipation is building knowing that opening night is less than a month away. Full speed ahead!
The musical team went to see the musical “Urinetown” Thursday, January 19, 2012. First and foremost, when I say team, I really do mean team. I have seen the most commitment in this cast than any of my previous teams I've been on. I’ll take you on a step-by-step scenario of exactly what happened the night of our field trip. The cast and crew got on the bus and we talked as we drove to Ghent, 45 minutes away. We danced and laughed the entire ride. The musical was about 2 hours long and we all loved every single part of it. We want to give great thanks to the Ghent Playhouse who even hosted a question and answer session afterward. The cast of the musical reiterated everything that our director, Mr. Howard, tells us every rehearsal, which made him very happy. Their version of “Urinetown” had some shocking similarities to our version and it was interesting to see the different ideas they had. It was very informative and helped the cast and crew learn something. Seeing Ghent’s wonderful version of “Urinetown” was an amazing experience that will definitely improve the show.
--Cielo Magana-Bustamante ‘15
on Saturday January 21, 2012 at 09:47AM