I write to you from the University Theater. The cast and crew of Erismena have officially moved in! Many months of preparation on behalf of the designers and performers have led to this moment.
Throughout the semester, the cast has been working one-on-one with Grant Herreid, our music director, in order to prepare for staging rehearsals. Once everyone returned from Spring Break, the rehearsal schedule ramped up exponentially. For the past four weeks, everyone has been trekking to the lovely Trinity Lutheran Church, our home base throughout the rehearsal process.
We have been focusing on the staging of Erismena, uncovering how we can most clearly tell this story. The plot of Erismena is rather complex and a bit confusing, so it is vital that the staging acts as a means to illuminate the story more clearly.
We’ve also been dedicating a significant amount of time to character development: how can we make each of these characters three-dimensional and unique? What drives them? What do they want from other characters, and how do they try to get what they want? After such extensive music exploration, the cast has been focusing on exploring the physicality of their characters. Because many of the male characters are played by women, exploring how each character walks, stands, and fights with a sword has been crucial.
It is amazing to watch everyone’s hard work converge as we wade through the teching process. Since Friday, when Erismena officially moved into the theater, everyone has been working non-stop: from creating the set, hanging and focusing lights, re-staging, working with the orchestra, and trying out costumes, wigs and props… the show is evolving every day and it’s very exciting to watch the world of Erismena come to life.
For the past couple of days, I’ve been sitting backstage while Shayna, our stage manager, calls cues. For the show to be run smoothly, lighting and sound cues must be set to the music. After two 12-hour days, we finally finished our second 12-hour day of cueing and are now moving on to running the show in full. Over the next couple of days, Ethan Heard, our director, will be working on key moments in the show that still need refinement. All to soon, we will be able to share this performance with you! Make sure to come! It’s quite a love spectacle.