This past weekend we had cue-to-cue and level set. These are, respectively, when lights and sound cues are built around actors and set transitions are incorporated into the flow of the show. It is a sometimes tedious process, but, like I mentioned in my last entry, it is a time for actors to take a backseat to the tech elements of the show.This is by far the largest undertaking for designers and tech here are URI in recent memory. But, watching these elements become part of the story has only enhanced it ten-fold. Lighting, sound, and sets tell their own story as well as sometimes articulate what song, dance, and acting cannot.
It finally rained on stage! What a fantastic moment to witness. This has been the talk of our cast since the moment the show selections were announced last year. The set and rain-machine that was built for the title song sequence is absolutely incredible. I don't want to give much more away than that, but it is truly breathtaking. You'll just have to see it in person.
At last night's rehearsal, we ran "Broadway Melody," the largest dance sequence in the show, with costumes. This was the first time that we danced in costume, and the story came to life. "Broadway Melody" tells the story of a young dancer who goes to Broadway to hit it big. There are three sequences in the number: the first is daily life on the streets of New York, the second is a "rabbit-hole" moment when the dancer gets lost in the dark underground of NYC life, and the third is a classic tap sequence. Costumes are so integral to this number because there are no vocal moments for each person to say who they are, it is all movement and costuming. For instance, I play a bag lady/homeless woman. I can inhabit this character physically, but the costume tells the audience precisely who I am. You'll see me up there with my bag of garlic and fur stole. ;)
As we move in to the last days of this show, it becomes even more bittersweet. This is my last show in undergrad and because my experience here at URI has been so positive, it's hard to leave. This is a transition time for all seniors. My next move is to go to Boston for a year or so, get a full-time job and continue auditioning. When I made the decision not to go to graduate school directly after undergrad, it was because the life of working and auditioning is what I want for myself at 22 years old. This BFA program has set me up for a transition to an MFA program, but I believe that each student has to decide what is right for them. Just how college isn't the right decision for everyone out of high school, graduate school may not be the direct next step out of university. This all being said, my professors have imported to me how essential continuing education is, whether it be through internships, acting classes, or experiential.
As I mentioned before, Andrew Burnap is at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. this week. He is representing Region 1 of the Irene Ryan Acting Competition. This is under the umbrella of the American College Theatre Festival. We are so proud of his accomplishment, and I think it shows that we are truly one of the strongest undergrad programs in the country. He is participating in workshops and competing for scholarships. An added benefit is networking with other students from around the country and professionals in our field. Because he is playing Don in SITR, his understudy has taken the role on in his absence.
If you've seen the graphic used on our poster, you've probably noticed that it is credited to Tyler DiBiasio, a Rhode Island School of Design student. He is close friends with our Cosmo Brown (Joshua Andrews) and was hired to create this custom drawing for publicity use. The above video is an animation he did based on the original "Good Morning" choreography. I think it is a great partnership between students of two arts programs in the state. Kudos to Tyler for his work! A television will be in the theatre lobby during the run of this show featuring this animation and other work by Tyler.
That's it for today. Remember to get your tickets in advance. We have over 1,000 sold already! You don't want to be the one to miss out on this show.