This is Jordin. Hello!
Here we are in tech week: a time that seems to be designed to drive theatre people insane the week before a show opens. So much to do! So little time!
I hit this week running after a weekend of craziness (unrelated to OAT) in which I was challenged to create a three act devised piece about Identity in the 21st Century with 13 other young theatre makers in just 36 hours. Needless to say, sleep was low, stress was high, and I was dreading the onslaught of endless work for Romeo and Juliet.
Nonetheless, I dragged my tired butt out of bed on Monday morning with a mind to take on and conquer the mission of madness that is TECH WEEK. First order of business was nailing down our last two performance locations. This is a task I probably should have had done weeks before, but I had found myself running into wall after wall as I tried to coordinate the last couple spots. I am definitely still learning about the whole producing game...
To quote Fate from OAT's Romeo and Juliet, "But passion lends them power; time means to meet, temp'ring extremities with extreme sweet." In this case "them" is just me. And time did mean for me to meet our last two locations this week! They were both unique and unexpected solutions made possible by wonderful, art-loving people. HELL YEAH!
By the way, if you haven't noticed, I recently learned to put gif's in my blog posts and I am really enjoying myself.
Anywho, back to crazy nuts bananas expectations and tech week. As it turns out, this week has in fact been insane and a lot of work. BUT, it has at the same time been rejuvenating and soul-quenching. This is for several reasons, some of which Ryan touched upon in his last blog post. OAT is a family (especially when MJ and John Steele are making meals for every rehearsal and the cast is gathering together to share food and laughs and love). And this family is creating some kickass, unique, magical, hilarious, heart-wrenching art that in just a little under a week we will get to share with the greater Portland community. I am feeling beautifully giddy and stoked and a little terrified. And I do not think that I can fully explain in words how insanely amazing this show is going to be. SO COME SEE IT!!
Now off I go, back to tech week insanity. I can't wait :)
Jordin here. It's FRIDAY! And what a big week this has been for OAT!
We've really begun the push to get the word out about the stunning work we're creating. Therefore, my main hat this week has been my Marketing Hat. I wrote my first Press Release this week (with the help of my dear writer friend and official OAT photographer, Kate Peifer)! I also created some newspaper advertisements, a Facebook Event, local event listings, and some informational flyers. I am exploding at the seams with concise, chipper information about OAT's Romeo and Juliet.
As for rehearsals, I was only actually called on Wednesday, when we blocked the last scene of the play. This is a scene that, in many productions of R and J, tends to feel like a deflating balloon after all of the excitement, suspense and high stakes throughout the rest of the play. At first, ours was like that too.
But with the help of Mr. Steele, we found a way to make the final scene truly explosive.
The stakes in the scene are, in fact, incredibly high. First of all, we enter the scene to find Juliet newly dead, who had JUST been buried. Creepy. Also, there is a dead Montague in the Capulet crypt. What in the world?? And Paris is dead?! What kind of crazy shenanigans are going on here? And by the end, two of the most ancient enemies, people whose families have been gridlocked against one another for years, TAKE HANDS???
With all of this fuel in mind, the cast truly connected in to the final scene, giving it an incredible energy and intensity. I can't wait to get there with the arc of the whole play behind us!
At the end of this exhausting yet rewarding week, the city of Portland set fireworks off in honor of all of our hard work. At least we can pretend they were for us... Thursday's rehearsal coincided with the Oregon Symphony's free concert in Waterfront Park. So, after a productive rehearsal (the whole show has now been blocked!), members of the cast headed up to catch the second half of a magical evening of music, ending with cannons (real, giant, amazing CANNONS), the 1812 Overture, and, yes, fireworks.
Here's to a full, amazing week and what promises to be a very magical show!
Hello. Jordin here.
As promised, this week I tried on my construction hat building platforms for the OAT stage. This is a pretty big accomplishment for me, as evidenced by the fact that when I told my sister I had been building things this weekend, she immediately asked, assuming that the answer would be yes, "Did you hurt yourself?" NO. I did not, thank you very much! I was actually a very impressive drill-wielder if I do say so myself. And now OAT has a stage: a beautiful, three-platform, semi-circular, easily-movable, sturdy, cozy, just-like-home STAGE. After it had been built, Ryan, Will and I didn't want to leave it. We sat on those platforms for an hour or more, drinking beer, chatting, and Ryan even did some yoga on it! The three of us love this new stage, and I have a feeling the rest of the cast is going to love it too when we introduce it to them next week!
In addition to the Prince, I am also playing Cousin Capulet, a brief merry role during the Capulet's party scene where Romeo and Juliet meet. Originally, this was going to be a clown character with a big ol' clown nose. I tried on the nose for the first time on Tuesday only to find that it was much too big. In an effort to make it fit, we tightened it. I then proceeded to snap the string, breaking the nose and rendering it useless for the day. Here's me wearing a funny beret and no nose as Cousin Cap:
At rehearsal yesterday, Cousin Cap met his new nose, belonging to the Commedia character Dottore. Here's a picture of what he looks like:
A little bit about Dottore according to Will Steele's vision: He is ALWAYS right and he tends to have a stick up his butt about most things. This attitude is reflected in a rigid, army-like physicality, paired with a very silly shuffled-footed walk that is concentrated only in the feet.
Beginning work with Dottore was very challenging for me. I have a hard time with stillness and a nearly constant case of twiddly fingers, so it is a huge obstacle for me to stay totally rigid from head to ankles. It takes a great amount of focus because most of the time I don't even realize I'm fidgeting. By the end of our mask rehearsal yesterday, I was beginning to find where Dottore lives in me. His stillness, when I can access it, feels amazingly powerful and precise. I can't wait to continue work with him and to marry him with my good friend, Cousin Cap.
In other news: Rehearsals are going AMAZINGLY, as previously expressed by Ryan and Will. Folks, this show is gonna be HOT!
Also, performance locations are being nailed down as we speak. Bing. Bang. Boom. This is happening.
Thanks for reading,
This is Jordin, writing my very first blog post ever. What a momentous day. I imagine by the time I've finished I will be feeling very accomplished.
Did you know that when I created this blog, Weebly sent OAT an email congratulating us on the birth of our website? Our beautiful bouncing baby blog was born at 10:20pm on Monday, August 11, 2014 at a healthy weight of 6 pages and 16 elements. They told me I must be very proud. And though this personification of a web page was a little odd, a little goofy, a little cheesy, they were right. I AM proud! And so excited for the opportunity to share my experience working for a company that I really believe in.
Today has been a full day of work and art. After some early morning artistic inspiration from So You Think You Can Dance (okay, not really part of my workday...), I triumphantly made some finishing touches to a dramaturgical project I've been working on over the past week or so called THE LGD. What, you may ask, is THE LGD? Well, I may tell you, it is short for Lexicon-Glossary-Dictionary and it is a fourteen page list of uncommon or tricky words and terms from Romeo and Juliet as defined by Oregon Adventure Theatre (with A LOT of help from our dear friend Alexander Schmidt). Today, I turned the fruits of my labor over to Artistic Director Will to edit and approve. This means that SOON this lovely resource will be complete and hopefully posted on the blog for interested parties (like maybe you?).
Side Note: One of the great things about being Company Manager for OAT is that I actually get to do a lot of different kinds of jobs. Like, not only do I get to do fun dramaturgical projects such as THE LGD, but also I get to coordinate performance spaces, work on contracts, coordinate poster designs (which by the way, check out the beeeautiful design for R and J by Joel Velasco on our ONSTAGE page), and work on awesome blogs like this one. Plus, I get to be in the show!
Speaking of which, at rehearsal today, we had the inimitable Kate Peifer with us to take photos. So, thanks to her, I get to show, not tell, you about how tonight's rehearsal went. Though I will say, luckily, despite possible thunderstorm predictions, we did stay dry (except for my left foot, which stepped in a mud puddle).
To start the day off, we warmed up our bodies. Here's Jessica Hillenbrand (Mercutio), me (Prince), and Eleanor Johnson (Juliet) stretching.
Our fearless leader, William Steele, grabbing some sky
Here's Heidi Hunter (Gregory and more!) rockin' some script work during downtime.
Matthew Sepeda (Lord Montague) and Sam Steele (Lady Montague) finding some marital bliss.
Matthew Sepeda (Paris) and Sammi Boyd (Lord Cap) discussing Juliet's marriage.
Jeffrey Phillips, our beautiful Nurse, warming up his Pulcinella mask.
True love and bonding among cast members: sharing coffee. (Jessica Hillenbrand and Eleanor Johnson)
Well folks, that's all this goober has got for you today!
Coming up for me this week: I get to test out my carpentry skills building the R and J set and next week, I'm expecting my first encounter with a clown nose... So stay tuned.