My title says “Production Manager”. In reality I am the production manager, resident light designer, stage manager, and general tech for Coeurage. It’s a lot, but I like having a hand in every aspect of the production.
When I was asked to take on all of these roles for Double Falsehood, my first thought was, “Oh good, this show will be a break from the epic, award winning musical we just did.” I was only partly right. The Trouble With Words was an original, unknown piece. We had no idea how it would turn out, how much the experience would tax us, or how successful we would be, but we knew we had to show it to people and we had to do it well. Double Falsehood turned out to be a similar beast. It’s an unknown, “new” Shakespeare play that was co-written and adapted. The play hasn’t been performed since the 1700’s and we are the west-coast premiere. We have to show it to people and we have to do it well.
The pre-planning of the show went pretty well. Now that the company is almost finished with its second season, we have gotten pretty good at thinking ahead and anticipating the needs of the next show. We got all of our ducks in a row during the run of our last production so that we could hit the ground running with this project. For me that means planning production meetings, setting up a calendar with a list of due dates and goals for the company, getting design elements in place, and continuing to manage the production as we went along. Again, it’s a lot, but it pays off.
My favorite part about designing this show was that it was completely new. Just like the last show, there was no blueprint from any other company that I had to compare myself to or live up to. Just an original presentation of a show few people have ever even heard of. It was a blank canvas and I was ready to paint. My parameters were 1950’s rural Midwest, simple town, hot and lively wilderness, and multiple locations. The real challenge of a small theater is finding a way to make what you have planned in your head into a reality. There are several limitations including lack of dimmers, lack of lights, and lack of space. It can be frustrating at times, but I find it also makes me more creative with my choices.
I decided to use a lot of different angles with the lighting of this show. It was a play off the “Double” in the title. Every scene has a light that is slightly off kilter. To balance or “double” these lights are partner lights that are angled traditionally creating a pretty picture with one or two elements that are slightly off in each scene. It makes for a play that seems like any other Shakespeare play until you really take a step back and look at the bigger picture. You see, Double Falsehood is not your typical Shakespeare play. The play ends in several marriages, but I dare you to call this play a comedy.
Now that the show is up and running, we can only wait and see what people think not only of the play itself, but our execution of it. We took on quite a challenge for such a new company, but we are excited to hear the feed back. We knew we had to show it to people and we knew we had to do it well. We hope you enjoy.