Friday, March 24, 2006
Sudbury in early spring
It's coming to the end of my week on the edge of Northern Ontario. I haven't had any time to actually see much of the place.
The show I am here to work on is a David French play, "Of the Fields, Lately" -- a one location, four scene piece that could be very kitchen sink. Brenda, my director, doesn't want to go into pure realism, so the set and lighting design is based on making everything look like a sepia photo. I'm here to do lights. Our challenge is that sepia is an ink, not a light. But I'm quite pleased with what we've found, going with angles that mimic the natural lighting in the "house" as opposed to washes.
Sudbury: yesterday it was warm enough to snow, not that I saw too much of it. We were in the theatre again, working through the play in a big dark room. A taxi driver told me that Sudbury once held the distinction of having the country's best-dressed teenagers. This was in the time before malls and colour TV, when the city was more purely a mining town, and when the mines closed at the end of the week there was nothing to do but get dressed up and go out dancing. At the time there were more millineries and men's clothing stores per capita then anywhere else in the country as well.
This has since changed, of course.
When I had arrived I was a bit surprised at the drabness of the city, but after a light dusting of snow the magic of a winter city crept into many of its alleys and corners.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
working with funny people
thank whatever power you believe in for funny people. Funny in a good way -- easy going, quick-witted, generous, self-deprecating but still proud and professional -- these are the kinds of people you want to work with.
This is a shot of two of them: Karin and Evalyn; with their third partner Anna they have a theatre group called Independent Auntie. See their shows. Don't think too much, just go. They amaze me.
in other news, Bea and I managed to pick up a one-year pilot grant for operating funds for her (well, our) company, Aluna Theatre. Suddenly there is a visible future. A whole lot of uncertainty has dissolved for us: we know what we will be doing for a good deal of our time for the next year. Just like that. Uncertainty is a negative thing: you don't see it as a haze before your eyes or anything. But it really feels like a fog has lifted when you get that kind of news.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
Don't get much chance to look around where I am these days, so I haven't written much lately. I designed the lights for a show called "The Arab-Israeli Cookbook", just opened the other day. It was an intense show, and took quite a bit out of me. It was a lesson in communication -- learning to communicate is, in large measure, being sensitive to the moments when you are not communicating. Knowing when you need to work harder demands considerable imagination and attention. It's hard to know that you don't know something, though, you know? I'll stop before I start sounding like Donald Rumsfeld.
Anyway, this week I'm working at Buddies again (yes!) on lighting "Clean Irene and Dirty Maxine", and preparing for a David French play, "Of the Fields, Lately", which is going up in Sudbury shortly. So things have not slowed down. I'm looking forward to the end of the month, but I'm also enjoying this busy time when I'm working fully in a medium of rhythm and colour. Designing lighting for Theatre is a joy.
Bea is busy too, having just opened "Bloom" at the Theatre Centre (a gorgeous show). We see each other at night sometimes, or in the morning. We have very honest and lovely conversations at those times, because we miss each other so much. It feels bohemian, sitting there in pyjamas eating whatever is in the fridge -- if we've had time to get anything that is. If not it's oatmeal. Which I dig.
The great mercy of a heavy workload is that I don't have time to keep up with much news. It's wonderfully freeing to not have so much clutter in the brain.