Hey, look, the Solon High School Drama Club is joining the 21st century!
Ok, so most of us (well, the students at least) were already there. And even though it's taken me a little longer to catch up, I'm proud to introduce The Director's Chair, a new feature on our vastly improved website. With the introduction of this format, we've gone from "functional" to "fabulous," and I'm really excited about the possibilities now in front of us. I'm hoping this forum helps shine a light on the often mysterious world of theatre, from audition through rehearsal, performance, and beyond.
We're about a month into rehearsals for Shrek The Musical, and with this first post we begin a virtual backstage tour of the process. Our to-do list for the show is a little more complicated than in previous years, given the Fairy Tale land we're creating. While we're making the usual amount of sawdust and carving up Styrofoam snowstorms (a favorite pastime of all crews, to be sure), other more specialized processes are taking shape. One of our first priorities was "life-casting" the faces of our Shrek and Fionas--creating a negative mold of the actor's face, from which a positive plaster bust will be cast. That bust will be used as a foundation to assure that the prosthetic appliances we create fit the actor's face perfectly. Check out the video below, produced by senior Rachel Horn, for a look at our life-casting adventures:
Mr. Jim Gough, parent volunteer extraordinaire, is leading our students through the many-step process of prosthetic creation. (You'll be seeing Mr. Gough's name a lot in this space, and we're very appreciative of his talents and assistance.) We also need to extend a HUGE thank you to The Monster Makers, a special effects supply company located right here in Cleveland (whose Monster Clay was recently used to sculpt the melted Darth Vader head in a galaxy far, far away) for their guidance and generosity. If you're interested in the next steps of this process, I highly recommend the SyFy series "Face Off," a reality show in which makeup artists compete in weekly challenges and craft some truly amazing effects. The show is a favorite discussion point in Mr. F's Production Technology course, and we enjoy critiquing the designers' efforts from week to week.
Meanwhile, in a different corner of the stage, construction of our dragon puppet is well underway. We'll have more details on this ambitious project in the days to come, but here's a little sneak peak:
Rehearsals resume this week after our successful Evening of One-Acts performances. We're excited to begin choreography on one of the biggest numbers in the show, "Freak Flag." Blocking and staging continue as the actors and I work to shape their characters. It's the meaty part of the rehearsal marathon, the broad strokes which lay the groundwork for all the details to come.
I'm intrigued by this new platform, and I hope you'll join me on this journey--maybe even provide some suggestions for navigation. Post your comments and questions, and I'll address them. Share with your friends the amazing work that's done regularly by our students at Solon--they're pretty amazing people, and I'm grateful I get to sit in their director's chair.
Kristina J. Ferencie has directed the SHS Drama Club since 2001.