Archive for the ‘Technical Direction’ Category

“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?


“So Near, So Far, So In-Between” from Sarah Grulikowski

In Internship, Lighting, Lighting Design, Technical Direction, Uncategorized on June 1, 2018 at 7:24 AM
IMG_3844It’s week two and time is flying by! Each week, all of OSF’s FAIR participants meet up to check in, fellowship, hear good advice, and all kinds of other good stuff. At the past few meetings, a lot of the more experienced participants have been speaking about finding their next work, or working to determine what they’re going to do after their FAIR work: stay at OSF, go back home, find other work…Needless to say, it’s all very inspiring! To be surrounded by equally passionate, oftentimes more successful folks who aren’t afraid to mentor or help lift you up is an amazing experience.
On the other hand, though, are the moments when people share about difficulties in their work. The open, respectful, and entirely supportive nature of the FAIR Forum is an amazing thing, and it’s sense of camaraderie lends itself to sharing, and sometimes, hashing out difficult moments in one’s work. While this is a really awesome, positive thing – to maintain an environment wherein folks can share and work through both positive and negative experiences – becoming more aware of others’ negative experiences made me weary of my own. To a small extent, I would become a bit paranoid regarding my potential upcoming rough patch; I love working at OSF and didn’t want to fail or be a hindrance to a process I’m lucky and grateful to be a part of. Sometimes I’d wonder if I was living in a bit of a state of ignorance, if my negative experience was coming down the pipe, or maybe had already happened, and I’d missed it. It seemed unlikely to be constantly enjoying a work environment where I was asking so many questions and was learning so much. Nonetheless, I continued, and am still hesitantly waiting for a moment I won’t enjoy.
Like I mentioned above, during these conversations, people would talk about wrapping up their experiences and their next steps. During Week Two, I was already wondering where my path would take me. Being a first year student at the university down the street, Southern Oregon University (SOU) I’m eighteen and aware that those who continue in the program or get hired at OSF after their first experience are rarely as young as I. So, I started to wonder: Hearing of all of my peers’ successes, job offers, and better established careers, I became focused on, and sometimes insecure of, what my next move could be. Would I try to return to OSF? Would I complete the next four years of college without more experience at OSF? Had my theatrical career “peaked” early, and I’d be messing up or missing my chance? All of these things and more, I wondered, but tried not to dwell on. As I move forward into my next steps, I focus on learning and enjoying my time while I have it. Better to focus on the good things I can control than the unknown things, which I can’t.

“Aerialists and Giant Flowers” from Elizabeth Barrett

In Assistantship, Carpentry, Internship, Scenic Design, Scenic Paint, Scenic Painting, Scenic Props, Technical Direction, Uncategorized on May 23, 2017 at 6:08 AM


This week was incredibly busy as we approached tech week for the Elizabethan productions. This means the shop was split between installing pieces in the Lizzy and constructing finishing touches back at the shop. I spent a lot of my time working on the mechanical marvels that are The Merry Wives flowers that bloom mid-production. This has been a crossover between the properties department and scenic carpentry and everyone had been involved. Thus, I have been able to work alongside OSF’s talented prop’s department making human sized flowers bloom.

This weekend I attended at Aerialist showcase at The Le Cirque Center. Several OSF employees are Aerialist’s and showcased their work at the scene shop party in April. I was amazed by their performances so I attended another one yesterday. I love how many artists in OSF branch out for their specific fields through venues like The Le Cirque Center, The Open Mic Night, and Midnight Projects. It allows theater artists, who almost always have more than one specialty, the ability to continue to grow in all areas they are passionate about. This specific performance had over 12 Aerialists demonstrate acrobatic skills on silks, ropes, hoops, and bars. It was mildly terrifying to watch them in the air doing acrobatic tricks and suddenly dropping and catching themselves at the last moment. I would highly recommend going to see a show there!

“Graduate School…How? When? Where? WHY?!” from Cassandra del Nero

In Assistantship, Carpentry, Props, Richard L. Hay Fellowship, Scenic Design, Scenic Paint, Scenic Painting, Scenic Props, Technical Direction, Uncategorized on April 12, 2017 at 12:08 PM

del nero

As I sit in the OSF Shuttle three nights a week, sometimes driving company members home and sometimes whiling away the hours with memorizing songs and honing my drawing skills- I decided I should at least attempt to be productive in that time frame.

What it has amounted to is this: research for future assistantships, job offers for young designers, and graduate school possibilities.

What I found first was the need to set my priorities: What did I want from a program?

My number 1 priority was a school that looked at design with a scenographic or at least dual emphasis process. This would allow students to pursue more than one avenue of design and to learn more about the cohesive nature of collaboration.

My second priority was that the school also teach classes in builds (scenic and costume) to better inform the design process. If one does not understand how something is built- it can be easy to stray into the impossible (or extremely expensive). This has been doubly enforced to me as I discuss Off the Rails with Richard, and Unison with Rick. As we design (and assist in designing) these shows, we must compare them with the demands of the build. For instance, if a unit is built at 8 ‘-6” wide, but the plank lines for the wall are at 1’-0” increments, there will be a very visible divide at the location of the door. This is not aesthetically pleasing. This is just one of many such examples where we must discuss the function of a scenic unit before it is even passed underneath the eyes of the Technical Direction team.  With those ideals as my jumping off point- I’ve found a few options. And they’re no slouch! NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Yale’s Department of Drama, Northwestern’s Stage Design Degree, London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, Trinity College’s School of the Arts- and a few others. The uniting factors here? All excellent schools, and with wonderful reputations, and all with staging costs in attendance and moving fees.

The options I did find for attendance on the West Coast face the same failings, but often did not have teaching assistantships available. As such, I’m beginning to plan for attending graduate school in 2018 or 2019, giving me more time to decide what and how I want to learn… It begins!

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