BACKSTAGE WORKSHOPS

Posted 13th May 2016.

Lighting by Anthony McCarthy & John Brigg.

Make-Up by Collette McCormack & Christine Probst.

Workshoped on 24th November 2007

at T'Schier, Aspelt, Luxembourg.

A New World Theatre Club production.

Have you ever thought about helping out backstage at the theatre?

This was a chance to learn some of the skills that the NWTC needs.

The lighting workshop lasted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and was led by John Brigg and Anthony McCarthy.

The make-up session ran from 2 to 4 p.m. and was led by Colette McCormack and Christine Probst.

Both workshops were open to anyone over 16 and were free of charge. We were getting the room free so you were expected to have lunch at the restaurant (choice of three menus, including a vegetarian option).


THE REVIEW by Alison Kelly

Lighting

Perched on a circle of stools, in a great barn of a room in Aspelt, some 20 people nervously introduced themselves and explained why they wanted to attend a workshop about theatre lighting. Most were teenagers who were either studying drama at school or involved in lighting school productions, but there was a smattering of both older and younger people.

John Brigg started the workshop by illustrating the importance of lighting.

If you close your eyes and then open them again, what do you immediately notice? The brightest object in the room. But if a lesser light moves, your eye naturally follows that. By shining torches in each other’s faces we explored the interesting effects of shadows, and the way a bright, direct light can wash out the features. The contrast gives form and the shadows show us the shape of the object. And of course shining light of one colour on fabrics of another colour can produce some unexpected and dramatic effects. In the theatre, light is used to focus attention and to create mood. Changes in the light not only keep the audience’s interest, but direct that interest to particular points on stage. This is the art of the lighting director.

After a break for a late breakfast (kindly provided by Angela Milne, via the local patisserie), Anthony McCarthy introduced us to the craft of the lighting director. He showed us the two main sorts of theatre light, and invited us to try our hand at adjusting them. Whereas the plano-convex light has soft edges so that several beams can easily be merged, the profile lights are often used for highlighting and creating special effects. They have a special effect themselves, in that the gates are reversed, so that to move the light up (or left) you have to move the gate down (or right) ? all very confusing for the uninitiated. At present there are no low-energy theatre lights, so the apparatus gets very hot and difficult to handle.

John and Anthony also pointed out the importance of knowing exactly what sort of electricity supply the venue has, and being careful not to overload it! The lighting director has to be both an artist and a scientist, able to calculate the requirements of particular combinations of lights correctly. It’s also important to bring all the correct plugs, adaptors and cables with you, a point that was graphically brought home later in the day, when a search party had to be sent out for a 16/32 amp adaptor!

After lunch, the lighting workshop moved on to more practical matters. We worked on lighting the scene where the ghost of the murdered Banquo appears to Macbeth at a banquet. In addition to background lighting, the ghost and Macbeth need to stand out, and so does Lady Macbeth’s face.

The light has to follow Macbeth as he moves around, and all this provided us with quite a challenge. We had to learn how to load the lighting bars and keep them balanced, as well as how to extend the light stands and make sure the cables were hanging correctly and the barn doors on the lights weren’t obscuring other lights. All of this takes considerable time and skill. In a real production up to 20 lights may need to be set up and focused in an hour.

In the end all the lights are connected to a lighting box, so that central control during the play is ‘simply’ a matter of pushing the knobs up and down at the right time. Even this is largely hidden from the audience (and indeed the actors), most of whom never realise how skilled the essential job of lighting a production is, how much advance planning it takes, and how important calm and fast reactions on the night are.

But at least 20 people can now appreciate this crucial aspect of theatre better.

NACOMA'S VISION QUEST

Posted 29th April 2016.

Written and directed by Linda Lang.

Performed summer 2007

at the Schutrange Community Hall, Schutrange.

A Musical Fans Schutrange production.

Nacoma, eine junge Lakota Indianerin, wird vom Medizinmann ausgesucht, seine Schülerin zu werden. Er schickt sie zu einer Visionssuche in die Berge. Hier trifft sie auf Ihren spirituellen Führer, den Elben Kyran, der sie mitnimmt auf eine wunderbare Reise in die märchenhafte Welt der Naturgeister. Dort begegnet sie den Herrscherinnen der Luft, des Wassers, der Erde und des Feuers und deren Volk. Kyran und die Naturgeister helfen Nacoma ihren Glauben zu festigen und geben ihr die nötigen Weisheiten mit auf den Weg, die sie brauchen wird als Schülerin von Schwarzer Adler.

Sprache : Deutsch

Lieder : Indianische Sprachen, Keltisch, Englisch, Deutsch

Alter : Erwachsene und Jugendliche, eignet sich für Kinder ab 6 Jahre

Dauer : gute 2 Stunden

Idee, Text, Regie, Musikzusammensetzung : Linda Lang.


Nacoma, a young Lakota Indian woman, is chosen by the medicine man to become his student.

He sends her on a “vision quest” in the mountains. Here she meets her spiritual leader, Kyran, who takes her on a wonderful journey into the magical world of nature spirits.

There she meets the rulers and people of the elements (air, water, earth and fire). Kyran and the nature spirits help to strengthen Nacoma’s faith and give her the necessary wisdom.

Language: German

Songs: Indian, Celtic, English, German

Ages: Adults and young people, suitable for children from 6 years

Duration: 2 hours

Idea, text, direction, music composition Linda Lang.

FELTES FAMILY FAREWELL FIESTA

Posted 29th April 2016.

Performed Mid 2007

at Gasperich Parish Hall, Luxembourg.

A Pirate Productions production.

Mid 2007 Pirates said goodbye to the family that have put up with us in the Gasperich Village Hall.

A fun night for all I seem to remember.

LINDA HER

Posted 29th April 2016.

Written by Harry Kondoleon.

Directed by John Brigg.

Assistant Director – Carole Greiveldinger.

Performed 6th to 8th June 2007

at Gasperich Parish Hall, Luxembourg.

A New World Theatre Club production.

Linda Her is set in a summer cottage where Carol, an insomniac, lies awake pondering her dissatisfaction with her boring husband (who talks endlessly of a lost love whom he hasn’t seen since kindergarten) and their bratty daughter. In fact, she is thoroughly disenchanted with the whole domestic scene--whereas her unmarried friend, Janet, couldn’t think of anything nicer. So Carol does the right thing, and tiptoes off to a new life, leaving her sleeping husband and child to the ministrations of the easily persuaded Janet.

SOMETHING UNSPOKEN

Posted 13th May 2016.

Written by Tennessee Williams.

Directed by Chris Wilson.

Performed 6th to 8th June 2007

at Gasperich Parish Hall, Luxembourg

and

25th May 2004

at the Koninklijke Schouwburg, The Hague.

A New World Theatre Club production for FEATS.

Miss Cornelia Scott is a grand, Southern woman whose outer extravagance belies inner insecurities. She has a complex, codependent relationship with her secretary, and during the elections for the local chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy, their tensions reach a tipping point.

In Something Unspoken Tennessee Williams tackles one of his pervasive themes: the inescapable loneliness of the human condition and his characters’ constant and often desperate attempt to escape the reality that is their loneliness – and their subsequent failure to do so. 

Something Unspoken is a study of two solitary women. It is a two-character piece about a wealthy Southern spinster, Cornelia, and Grace, a widow who has served as her secretary/companion for 15 years. On this anniversary of their meeting, Cornelia gives Grace 15 roses and begins to speak of her feelings about their long association and her desire for a more intimate relationship.

Grace repeatedly ducks the issue, contriving excuses to change the subject or to leave the room. The play focuses on Cornelia’s need for social position and recognition as well as the emotional boundary between her and Grace that reacts the polarity of their circumstances.

FEATS FRINGE

Posted 13th May 2016

Performed 26th to 28th May 2007

at the Koninklijke Schouwburg, The Hague.

An AATG production for FEATS.

If you can remember it, you weren’t there.

At the last minute, I was invited to light the Saturday fringe and the Monday skit. Improvised and fun.


Sat. May 26th

In Players, Amsterdam – How He Lied to Her Husband

AATG, Den Haag – Self Accusation

Hamburg Players – Water Re-Tension

Hamburg Players – Lady of Larkspur Lotion

AATG, Den Haag – The Adjudication Sketch


Mon. May 28th

Stokholm Players et al – The FEATS Skit

By Martin Kirk

OERTRANGE FAMILY DAY

Posted 14th May 2016.

Performed 13th May 2007

at Oertrange Hall, Oertrange.

An other production

Saturday night. 9:30 pm. Phone call from a mad Swedish friend.

“Hello Ant. What are you doing tomorrow?”

What I ended up doing was a slightly weak lighting effort in Oetrange. Still, I can now say I did the lighting for the strongest man in the world, Gorges Christen.

Along with lighting the debut of a band called “Flux” (all of whom I know from theatre work) and my first encounter with "The Permanant Smile".

Short notice but fun. I have never done this kind of lighting before and it was a real eye opener. Maybe more to come but a bit better next time!

WINE AND TOONS

Posted 14th May 2016.

Directed by Alex Teligadas.

Musical direction Philip Dutton and Liz Turner.

Performed 2nd to 5th May 2007

at Gasperich Parish Hall.

A Pirate Productions production.

A superb third outing of the “Wine and…” series.

Following the same popular format of the last few years, our spring 2007 production combined a wine tasting with cabaret style entertainment.

This year we featured songs and sketches from the world of cartoons and wines from the Americas.

And vultures!

STEEL MAGNOLIAS

Posted 14th May 2016.

Written by Robert Harling.

Directed by Rodney Tow.

Performed 24th to 28th April 2007

at the Théâtre National du Luxembourg, Luxembourg.

A New World Theatre Club production.

“There is no such thing as natural beauty.”

Steel Magnolias originally came out as a play, then as a film for which it is more famously known. The play, performed in Luxembourg by the New World Theatre Club and directed by its President Rodney Tow, is based on a true story and is set in a beauty salon in a small town in Louisiana.

THORRABLOD

Written and directed by the Spuni team.

Performed early February 2007

I don't remember where.

A Spuni production.

A mid-winter excuse for a celebration. Icelandic style.

My third Icelandic adventure.

I don't speak Icelandic but didn't need to.

A series of slapstick comedy routines and songs.