January 9, 2014
DRAMA PAPER: PLANNING IN THEATRE
When planning a theatre production, a lot more work goes into it than one would think at first glance, and it is not all from the actors. Every person on set of a production has a “part” to play; be it on or off stage. But, before the parts are placed there are steps to follow. Once the steps have been followed a wonderful production will be the conclusion. Budget: in planning anything it is very important to have not only a strict budget but also a budget with some alternative money set aside and for emergencies. Set in stone that this amount we will spend on advertisement, this much on props, etc. Having a budget is extremely important, especially for this day and age.
Casting: After you have a play in mind; it is always best to be sure to cast the right actors for the parts. This is where casting comes into play. Actors audition generally in front of a panel of judges. From there the judges collaborate and pick the actors who are to be included as cast in the play. The actors are to be committed and compliant to the play and director. If not, than they have no reason of being in the production.
Advertisement: Once the cast is set and the production has begun to fall into place, an advertising team is assembled to get the word out to the public and to make people want to come see the production. Create a newspaper article, make, print, and post flyers up around town and so much more. Each advertisement item should portray an accurate interpretation of the play with a brief summary and or background of it without giving anything away, but instead get the reader excited.
Set and Props: As the actors continue to act and memorize their lines, the backstage workers work on creating a set with respects to the setting of the play. Certain props are essential to the play such as the murder weapon in an Agatha Christie. To sustain from misplacing the props, people are given jobs to make sure those don’t get lost. However small a job on set one has, each one is so very important, especially when it comes to props.
Costumes: Semesters and costume designers work together to create beautiful (or ugly, depending on the character) clothing that match both with the time period the play takes place and with the character themselves. Some characters have multiple costumes, and with multiple costumes, you have multiple costume changes. More people are given different jobs to help the actors with costume changes. The porous of all these people helping the actors, is so that the actors are as stress-free as possible. Even the little things, like helping them change clothes can make a difference. Some would be surprised.
Hair and Make-up: Like the set, props, and costumes, the appearance of the characters should conform to the setting. Hair helps distinguish not only time period but age as well. If a woman has her hair pulled back tight, she could be a teenage girl from the 1960’s in Sana Barbra, or a woman in her early 60’s from the 1800’s in London. It makes a difference and it is fully understood due to the surrounding set and costumes. Make-up is a bit different. It can most defiantly decide your age, as well as your ethnicity, what time period, and even species with add on prosthetics and fun colors. The tricky part is matching the base tones of colors with an actor’s natural skin color. If a make-up and hair is not done correctly, than it’s just a big mess of blush and hairspray, and stage lights just show it up.
Execution: The opening night is always important and most defiantly the most stressful night of the play. The actors are antsy and pacing, the director takes an Advil, the stage manager is running around script in hand trying to find that one last prop, and now the curtain opens. Once the actor steps into the spot…