Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Lights, Camera, Action....


Lights! Camera! Action! And here we go again! Last semester was my first rodeo with the Trine Theatre. I must admit I didn’t know exactly how it would all work out. I mean, really, who does “Dracula” for their first university experience? I used to dream about the play, the students, well, everything for that matter. I have this rather interesting way of pushing theatre into my dreams and waking up in the night after a dream, or a nightmare. In my dream, it seemed as if we work and work and on opening night, when the curtains opened, the cast just stands there not knowing what to do or what to say. That is definitely in the nightmare mode!!! Luckily for me, that nightmare did not come true.

Directing “Dracula” was a dream come true for me, and I loved every moment of it. Every rehearsal, every thing that went wrong, and everything that just fell into place. We definitely had a great time. When the show closed, I could not imagine getting rid of Dracula’s coffin so it sits nicely in my office at school. (Great place for napping, FYI!)

What happens after the first play? There is a second play! I had a lot of fun choosing this one as I knew I wanted to do something quite different from ”Dracula” so I went with “Alfred Hitchcock, a 1940’s Radio Show.” This show is unique with costumes from the 1940’s, sound effects, and over the top acting. To my wonderful surprise, most of the cast from “Dracula” showed up for the auditions. I was thrilled, and I was already in love with them so it made it so easy. A few new students came into our company as well to make for a very well-rounded cast.

We started early so we built in a few days for some fun. One night, Jacob McNeal (assistant director) and I played an old-time radio show for them so they could hear what it sounded like. Perhaps it is a bit like sitting around the laptop and listening to a podcast. Maybe? It was inspiring to listen to the wonderful sounds of radio while sharing it with the cast. Tonight, we are sharing a Hitchcock film in honor of Valentine’s Day, which is today. It does seem a rather odd choice for a day full of love, but that is exactly what we are doing!

We are all familiar with the name Alfred Hitchcock. Most of us know his famous movie, “The Birds” which was released on the big screen in 1963. The story is based on the book of the same title written by Daphne de Maurier. But Hitchcock was involved in radio and theatre long before that movie. His first known interview was in March of 1937. It was a twenty-minute debate on Shakespeare and aired on the BBC.

A year later, on his first visit to the United States, he again participated in a panel discussion of The Cinema: The Director’s Job.

Not only did Hitchcock push his work forward during the radio hour with his mysteries, he was a huge fan of murder and mayhem and was especially fond of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

We are so happy to bring this fun piece to you in live theatre. In our theatrical rendition of the radio hour, we are bringing you three of Hitchcock’s most popular radio shows, and we are so excited to bring this to you.

With rehearsals four nights a week, an overly zealous costume designer (Kat), and Jacob as my assistant, it is sure to be a favorite event for the entire family.

The performance will take place at the T. Furth Center for the Performing Arts on March 30 and 31 at 7:30. You can catch a matinee on April 1 at 2:30.

In the words of Hitchcock, "I'm a little worried about mysteries these days.  I think we're getting altogether too many sinister looking butlers, hands coming through sliding panels and such.  You see, I'm interested in people, in characters . . . horrible characters.  I like to crawl inside a man's mind if I can possibly do so, and find out what makes him behave like a madman.”

In our radio show, the characters will come to life, as all good theatre does, and you will be able to crawl in the mind of a madman or two! Or just have a great time! See you at the show!

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