This week I volunteered to tech an incredibly ambitious No Refund Theatre play called "The 39 Steps," loosely based on the classic Hitchcock film. I'm a Hitchcock fan, so this was a treat.
The play has 35 separate scenes. THIRTY-FIVE! At first, the near-constant pace seemed a little daunting, but the director of the play, a nice fellow named Ben Sereda, is extremely organized, has very specific vision, and is a delight to work with, so we picked up the cues quickly.
I'm very impressed with the accuracy of the look, considering this play is run on a budget of practically nothing with everything donated or brought in. The actors all look authentically 1935, too, I think. It seems to have come together really well.
THINGS I'VE LEARNED ON THIS SHOW
- how to rig lighting. Not much different than studio lights in photography, but definitely a lot heavier. I don't have much of a fear of heights, so I've put them up the past three nights.
- the importance of stage organization. The lights are really dark when we set up each scene, and I walked right into a block last night. We also nearly had a catastrophe with that terrible door prop. My thigh is currently black and blue.
- I'm 35, and jesus, my body feels it now. I'm fifteen years older than everyone else, and although mentally I still feel 25 and I'm physically strong, I accept that I'm no longer a spring chicken. I try to keep up as best as I can, though, because teamwork is very important to a production and I'm always afraid of slacking.
Here are some more scenes from the play and backstage! Everyone is so sweet and fun and talented. It's been a joy to do this show.