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“Tech Time” from Megan Turnquist

In Assistantship, Lighting, Lighting Design, Technical Direction, Uncategorized, Video Projections on July 16, 2018 at 7:23 AM

2018-07-07 22.00.23We’re back in tech again, this time for The Way the Mountain Moved. Today is our second “10 out of 12,” which means we spend hours in the dark, leaning over awkwardly low tech tables, staring at the stage. The highlight of the week may have been when I got a booster seat, and my butt stopped going numb. The joke “Lighting designers do it in the dark” has been made at least once, this time with promises to make t-shirts. Theatre people are an odd bunch, and I’m so grateful to have this job.

Tech is a strange, often intense process of working and re-working the beats of a play, sometimes spending hours on a single scene or transition. My job is to take any notes and pass them along to the rest of our lighting team, and thankfully, this process has been relatively smooth. I’m assisting a competent and self-sufficient designer, a welcome change. In fact, the entire collaborative team is full of incredible people. As a group, they’re constantly checking with one another, working to support each other’s design choices. They’ll ask about things like intentions, timing, and placements, all to build a cohesive world of the play. Their work is paying off—Mountain already looks and sounds great and we still have plenty of tech time.

Perhaps just as importantly, we have gold fish crackers, chocolate, and a room full of people who appreciate a good fart joke when sound cues go awry. What more can one ask for in tech?

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“Juneteenth” from Elena Barberia

In Education, Green Show, Internship, Uncategorized on July 13, 2018 at 7:29 AM

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Monday started off with the OSF Juneteenth celebration–a holiday recognizing and celebrating the end of slavery in the United States, specifically in Texas. Our celebration was primarily about advocacy, education and funding for African American education, and recognizing the celebratory nature of such a monumental event. Throughout the day, there were various events free to the public, where we asked only for donations to fund African American students’ attendance at OSF’s Summer Seminar for High School Juniors. In the morning, there was a “roundtable discussion” entitled: Black Joy and Pain: Why be an Ally? In order to gain a full experience, I participated in many of the activities during the day, and sitting in on and listening to the discussion was crucial to my personal education and process of self-discovery–something that I’ll talk about later. Later, there was a reading of Plantation by Kevin Douglas in a black box theatre owned by the company for smaller-scale performances and staged readings. In this space was also a tribute to an actor who recently passed away and who was an advocate for African American education while he was at OSF, G. Valmont Thomas. Finally, the day concluded with a Variety Show on the Green Show stage, situated outside of the Elizabethan and Thomas theatres. In the early afternoon, I worked a shift at the merchandise table and got to meet some really fantastic women during my shift. Overall, it was a celebratory and educational day, and I’m glad I got to take part in it.

“On Being Authoritative” from Josephine Czarnecki

In Assistantship, Directing, Internship, Uncategorized on July 9, 2018 at 7:25 AM

12417976_10207147773847036_622534980095405991_nSomeone I’ve met in the company at OSF has started me thinking about what it means to be passive, aggressive, or authoritative in the theatre business. One of my greatest flaws, personally, is feeling like I deserve to take up space in the world– physically (standing close to the action), or verbally (speaking up when I have an idea… what if it’s dumb?). Maybe I should blame the patriarchy… but it’s still something I contend with, especially as a woman in society, especially as a woman fight choreographer, and also especially as an intern. I am always aware of trying to make sure I don’t consume too much space, which in my head is a Nice Thing To Do, but my friend has pointed out the detriment of this thinking: what if it’s true that the squeaky wheel gets the grease? (I hate metaphors). People who are nice are often looked over, people who are demanding oft have their demands met; it’s a certain level of power. I guess it’s all back to that Machiavellian concept of being feared versus loved– and what if Machiavelli is right, and the divas get the biggest roles despite, or worse, because of their attitudes?

People in the past have said to me “People take you seriously when you’re in charge?” or “How can you know anything about fighting, you’re so small” but my fear is whether a harsher attitude on my part would command respect, or just elicit distaste for a bossy bitch.

So my friend asked me “Do you think I should be more distant, or like, authoritative? Would I get bigger roles if I seemed like someone who would turn down small ones?” And I said “But even if that’s how the world really does work– do you want to be part of that? Do we want to further this culture where these attitudes are rewarded? Isn’t it worth trying to change that paradigm entirely?”

But is that even possible?

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