Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fall 2012: A Semester in Review

Wow. Have I been gone long enough?

To say life's been crazy would be an understatement.

I finalized transferring to the University of Northern Colorado over the summer. This past fall, along with a few general-education classes, I had the chance to take Theatre Management, Introduction to Technology, and Individual Performance in Theatre.

In Theatre Management, I learned the basics of running a theatre, both in the logistical and legal sense. We took on two different projects over the semester; for the first one, four of my classmates and I were put in charge of the publicity for one of UNC's mainstage productions, Parade. For the second project, we were again split up in groups, this time to create a fake theatre company from the ground up. We had to create a season lineup, secure a location and funding, and build a list of workers. Both projects were very difficult and took a lot of work, but they were great experience.

Intro. to Tech. gave me a good overview of all the design areas in theatre. Our group started off in the carpentry shop, where we spent our first three weeks learning all of the tools (there are much more than you probably realize). At the end of the three weeks, we built a simple doorstop using certain tools around the shop. After our test, we moved on to the lighting portion of the class. We learned some of the lighting basics, like hanging and focusing lights. We put together a simple light plot, then got to hang the lights for said light plot as part of our final. Another test, and we were off to the properties shop, where we made fish and experimented with plaster. The final  area was costumes, where we learned some basic sewing techniques, stressed some of the costumes for an upcoming show, and sewed our own little designs on a piece of felt. It was all a very fun, informative overview.

Now, Individual Performance (IP) basically gives students a chance to participate in the season's shows for credit. Students can work in the shops, be a part of run crew, help out in the lobby, or any combination. I chose to work exclusively in the properties shop. I got to transport 200-lb. columns across town for The Waiting Room, tied several hundred knots to simulate willow-tree leaves for Parade, and built crossbows for Queen Lear. It was a lot of hard work, and some occasional pain (I cut myself up pretty bad at least twice), but I had a blast. By the end of it, I had a wealth of experience under my belt, and a greater hunger for the art.

When classes ended within the first few weeks of December, I already had next semester's classes planned out.

To be continued... soon!