Hello Again Fellow Adventure Seekers,
This last week has been one of the most rewarding and challenging weeks in recent OAT history. We have managed to keep on this break-neck course to bring some wonderful and beautiful depth to Romeo and Juliet. Tonight we attempted our first run and although due to an unexpected nose bleed and a couple little lighting snafus we were able to climb our way into the last scene and just ran out of time before we had to stop. Watching all the characters burst into life before a campfire and behind the glow of gas and propane lanterns is wonderful. It's a spiritual kind of captivating.
I am so beyond proud of this group. I am so blessed to be working with such dedicated and enthusiastic people. Romeo and Juliet is a classic story and this cast and crew has breathed new life and wonderful vitality into the show. Tomorrow night we have our first dress rehearsal and on Wednesday we open to the public. This is going to be a fabulous show and I can't wait to see how it grows over the next week.
"If before we reached our goals we were certain of victory, would we still endeavor to finish strong?"
Until next time my adventure hungry friends,
Hello Adventure Connoisseurs,
This last week has just flown by. It is amazing to see this beautiful show come to life. On Thursday night we said goodbye to the boisterous Marquam bridge and the stunningly bucolic South Waterfron Garden rehearsal place. That place will be missed to be sure. And on Monday we will say hello to our technical rehearsal space and sight of two of our shows, the backyard of John and Maryjo Steele, my beloved and ever so supportive father and mother. Also next week we go into Technical rehearsals. This is a daunting prospect because there is so much to do. We have to create the world of Verona via set. We must acclimate to open flames on the stage and we must learn to start utilizing our ever useful and ever so interesting Light Fairies. What are Light Fairies you ask?
Because we don't have a catwalk or really any place to hang lights the lighting instruments are brought on by the actors and in scenes which occur in places or times which would need artificial light we use light fairies. It is actually quite a neat effect! To get to see light fairies in action you should just come on out and see a show!
But Light Fairies are not all we have planned for next week. We have a world to build, test out and then start fitting blocking around. We have a stage to paint, a fire to stoke and a giant tarp to put up. This next week will consist of creating the Theater in which Oregon Adventure Theatre operates.
In addition to all the old set stuff that will return, we are also adding a balcony that is easy to set up, sturdy and easy to take down. I admit the prospect of a "collapsible" balcony has a slightly frightening ring to it. But the design, conceived by the one and only Eric Lyness sounds like a good one and I am sure with his help and the help of my trusty OAT carpenters, (aka: Ryan Westwood, Jordin Bradley, Charles Steele and many others), we will make short work of bringing Verona Italy to the backyards and parks of Portland Oregon.
I am getting truly excited. This promises to be a great show.
All my best
"Art is not art if it merely imitates life, it must be life to be art."
Hello Again My Adventure Hungry Friends,
This has been an amazing day. I am now sitting at my computer with my beloved cat Mocha sitting on my lap sleeping away while I prepare to attempt the summation of what has turned out to be a blessed and artistically fulfilling day.
Today started out a little rough on the Artistic Director side of things. Over the weekend a great many things had managed to accumulate to an epic proportion and as they all arrived neatly on my laptop this morning I was quickly inundated with feelings of panic and fear. However, with the help of my trusty sidekicks Jordin Bradley and Ryan Westwood I was able to regain composure and bring what seemed like an insurmountable challenge down to a truly manageable size. It is indeed true that no situation is truly hopeless. Before I knew it the work day was finished and heaps had been done. I felt free of many burdens and grateful to be working on such a fantastic project.
After a quick dinner I headed down to the waterfront where Ryan was waiting for me. We talked a little about our days and hopes for the up coming rehearsal and then began to move equipment for the rehearsal. It was a glorious night. The air off of the river was cool and for some reason traffic didn't seem to be that loud. Maybe we are just getting use to it? There were a few hiccups along the way and some of the actors were a little late to rehearsal but for some reason everything just seemed to go in stride. Our beloved Benvolio, Jack Wells, brought candy and everyone seemed ready to work hard. Before I knew it everything on the work list was finished and we still had some time left over. So, I asked Jeff Phillips (the Nurse) if he would be willing to stay until the end of rehearsal to work on his mask character. He obliged me and from 9:30 to 10 I watched true magic occur. The show began as Jeff finished an exercise and instead of finishing the scene he continued walking off down the sidewalk, carefully and slowly, I wasn't sure he was ever going to stop, and I sure a silk is smooth wasn't going to stop him. He found a bench, sat down and contemplated. After a brief period he stood came quickly back to the stage, (all in character of course) and introduced my to the Nurse. I could have kissed her it was so wonderful. Eventually the mask had to come off the Lazzi ended and we had to end rehearsal but there was a true feeling a beauty and magic that still an hour and a half later tickles and dazzles me. I think this is going to be a truly beautiful show.
Until next time.
"There may be a perfectly good reason a road is less traveled, but that indeed is why it makes all the difference."
Hello Again My Friends,
Last night was a tremendous and emotional rehearsal. It was a joy and delight to watch Romeo and Juliet find each other through the bodies of Ryan Westwood and Eleanor Johnson. We had spectacular weather, and the most perfect wooded rock garden to practice in. After a humorous and lively Balcony Scene we transitioned into working on the Last Kiss scene. After reading through the text and discussing a couple different points of view we attempted a short exercise where we had Romeo climb up to Juliet's balcony. Once he gets there the two embrace. After they make their connection they realize that the sun is coming up and Romeo starts to leave and from that emotional place they start the scene. The stakes were very high, the jumping off point was precipitous and we were all ready to go with them. The Last Kiss scene has been one I have been very nervous about practicing and now I am very excited to incorporate the beautiful work we did last night into the rehearsals.
On another note: Last Saturday, the 17th several members of the OAT cast and artistic team ventured forth for a day of fun in the sun at Cannon Beach. This whole trip was the brain child of Ryan Westwood, our Romeo. After a crazy morning of picking up Sockeye Salmon, filling coolers with ice and beverages and gathering the important beach recreational sports equipment we embarked. The drive was easy and beautiful. The radio kept us happily entertained and along the way the cast and crew wrote the city of Chicago a love letter. Upon our arrival at the coast we went body surfing, built an OAT Sand Castle and fought, successfully (for a limited time) the rising of the tide!
After all the fun at Cannon Beach we packed up and drove a little South to Hug Point, a perfectly named beautiful little beach where we set up camp to cook our salmon dinner and enjoy the setting of the sun. After dinner we sang songs, told stories and basked in the glow of a beautiful and enchanting campfire. By the end of the day we all were sunburned and sandy. On the drive home most of us fell sound asleep. It was a great day. Looking forward to more adventures in the weeks to come.
Peace be with you
Hello Again My Friends,
We had a wonderful first week of rehearsal. We managed to complete a lot of blocking and had very few hiccups along the way. However, we have had our first lantern casualty. Looks like I get to go outdoor equipment shopping soon!
Last night was a beautiful night for Shakespeare in the park. Once again we were graced by the melodious music of the Great Highland Bagpipes. (An instrument so loud it can be heard above the din of rush hour traffic.) What has been most fun for me has been watching the actors make discoveries about their characters as we go along and seeing the beauty and mystery of our rehearsal space inform choices and decisions. This process really is becoming quite an adventure.
On another note, tragedy struck last night as one of OAT's beloved spirit animal mascots, a Beta fish named Cori, passed away peacefully in his tank. He was brought to the end of rehearsal and we gave him a proper burial at river side complete with bouquets of wildflowers arranged by our Mercutio (Jessica Hillenbrand) and a full cast acapella rendition of Amazing Grace. It was actually quite moving. The beautiful city lights in the back ground set the mood as the smooth waves of the Willamette, lapping at our feet, conducted us as we sang Cori to the great Beta tank in the sky.
I am really looking forward to next week and starting to piece together the elements of the story. Hopefully we get to start including more of the set pieces that make OAT productions so wonderful.
"The greatest risk one will ever take in life is to take none."
Until next time
Welcome fellow adventure partners,
This is Will here, on another adventure with Oregon Adventure Theatre. This Summer we are doing William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. We are off to a great start with some wonderful people. We have chosen South Waterfront Park as our rehearsal location. The spot is bucolic to say the least. Today we were graced with the dulcet sounds of the Great Highland Bagpipes. We had some good laughs as we worked with neutral masks. We also got the chance to compete with the Marquam bridge for volume supremacy. I am very excited to see where this journey will lead.
"The romance of the river is an echo ringing in the hearts of all who long for adventure."
Keep on keeping on,