Patrick Kelly, Technical Director of Circle Circle dot dot talks about the Technical side of Street. Art. Prophets.
7:30am alarm goes off. 8am finally crawl out of bed and run to my day job. 4:30pm leave said day job and head to a rehearsal or a meeting. 11pm finish rehearsal or meeting and head home to work on the website, marketing materials, or study lines till I eventually crash out and do it all over again 3-4 hours later. This is generally the way the schedule goes for us at Circle Circle dot dot and for me there is one step leading up to Opening Night that breaks the routine that I enjoy most. Load in! It adds some physical labor and gets the creative juices flowing like nothing else. Many people work well with clay or paint- I work well with wood, screws, saws and cursing the gods when something drops on my foot. The chance to walk into a dark empty theater space and use it as a canvas is something I have relished since I started doing theater 17 years ago and it still excites me every time. Though I may look as though I've lost my mind on the outside I find true inner peace in those sawdust, paint and sweat covered late nights.
When we started planning for Street. Art. Prophets. we knew that there would be difficulties on the technical side. But this being our 4th full-length production and we felt prepared. We had begun to get an understanding of what we were capable of accomplishing with the little time and funding we had and planning was the smoothest it had ever been. What we did not expect was the tragic accident that befell upon our dear friend and set designer Areta Mackelvie. While she miraculously survived this accident the last thing we wanted to do was burden her with questions about the project. So, with just 2 weeks before we took over the space I knew that we would be flying blind- but that we could get it done. It is rare at our level to be given the detailed ground plans, side views, and painting instructions you would get at larger more established companies. So walking in with little more than a rough ground plan sketch wasn't so scary.
At the production meetings Areta always talked about these trapezoidal leaning walls that would work as both cityscape and cave, a ramp to add levels with an entrance underneath, a projection screen and "schmada" (her term for junk and clutter) all over the walls and ground. With these ideas lodged in my mind we were able to get the bare wood structure up and in place in a relatively quick manner.
Then came the fun part: decoration.
This is where our collaborative side really kicked into high gear. A bit of metal here, a hub cap there, piecing in bits of art from High Tech High here and there. Then cans of paint popped open and everyone involved in the project, led by company member's Shaun Tuazon and Soroya Rowley, all pitched in to fill the vibrate world that now stands in the 10th Avenue Theater. Like many great street murals we all worked together using our own individual voices to create images that would fill the space. If there was an empty spot that didn't feel right someone had an idea for it and the inner street artist within them would spring to life adding another image, word, object or chunk of metal to the walls. With the addition of Bonnie Breckenridge's wonderful lighting design we achieved the gorgeous set you see below.
I think that in the end we were able to find the balance needed to let our asymmetrical artist wonderland, cave, club house, back alley, construction zone of a set truly come to life. We couldn't be prouder of the work we did in those two weeks and hope you enjoy the final product.
I would like to give a special thank you to Heather Tiegs who came into help us paint, Bret Young at Diversionary Theatre for the loan of the projection screen, Cygnet Theatre for loaning the projector, Rogeilo for his help constructing the wall frames, and the wonderful high tech high class whose literary themed street art gave us a great base for the walls.
We have two more weeks of the show and then it all comes down, but I look forward to the next nerve racking load in and another work of art.