The Consul

The Consul opened yesterday evening in the Silk Street Theatre. This opera by Gian Carlo Menotti is about a man who is a political dissident and is on the run from the secret police. The piece won Menotti the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 1950. This production has been directed by Stephen Medcalfe and conducted by Tim Redmond and is sung in English.

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Here is a look at the set being worked on, ahead of the final orchestral dress rehearsal last Friday. The set and lighting design has been done by Simon Corder, with costume design by Susannah Henry.

The Stage Management team for this production is comprised of a Stage Manager, Deputy Stage Manager and four Assistant Stage Managers. Here they are having a bit of Stage Management Day fun in their rehearsal room.

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The Stage Manager for the production, Becky, wrote the following about her experience:

“Stage Managing this production of ‘The Consul’ has been full of fun and challenges. As this is my first allocation of my third year, this means that I’ve never stage managed at Guildhall before, so this allocation was very new for me.

As someone that enjoys Opera I was excited about starting this allocation.

One thing I particularly enjoyed was getting to know my team – four ASMs (Tash, Abby, Jack, Tamsin) and the DSM, Pippa. We made sure that we had fun along the way, as the opera rehearsal period can often feel long at times (7 or 8 weeks rehearsal) and it is important particularly as a stage manager to keep your team motivated.

We had ‘Cake Friday’ and made sure that we met every evening to talk about what we had done in that day and what props we had found. The ASMs had lots of challenging props to find, such as a working 1950s typewriter, two huge filing cabinets, and a special propping task of my own, 300 chairs (thanks Winchmore School).

Another thing I enjoyed was sitting in the rehearsal room and getting to know the director and designer, Stephen and Simon, and watching their rehearsal process.

As a duo they created a beautiful world for the singers and audience, definitely helped by our expert rehearsal props, including a scale cardboard oven and moveable steel deck.

The show has a revolving set so this provided challenges of its own as a stage manager, trying to choreograph with my team and the director how we would move the revolve in time with the music. This paid off as it now looks lovely thanks to our fab crew who wear costume while pushing the revolve.

Overall my experience on ‘The Consul’ has been tiring, loud (singers are noisy on and off stage) and very very fun”.

 

Post Mortem

Our next drama production for this year is Post Mortem. Written by Noel Coward, this play is about the last moments of a young soldier in the trenches of World War I and the visions he has of his surviving friends and family in the upcoming 1930’s.

Our production will be directed by Lucy Bailey and designed by William Dudley, who is using video in the production, which will feature a lot of work by the students on the Video Design for Live Performance programme.

This morning, a military expert has visited rehearsals to talk to the company about military history, drill, weaponry and general army life in the trenches and training. His name is Callum Coates and he came prepared with examples of a Lee Enfield rifle, military uniform and drill marches. You can see the cast learning the military hierarchy and practicing standing to attention here

The company then moved on to marching drill, where the Stage Management team joined in

The production opens on Thursday 23rd November in the Milton Court Theatre

Anna Z’s Grad Project

Continuing our graduation projects for the third years, last Friday we were introduced to Marzanna by Anna.

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Marzanna is a Goddess in the Slavic and Baltic cultures, whose death at the end of each winter brings in the new spring. Anna explained how it is usual for the character figures of Marzanna to be drowned as part of a ceremony to welcome in the new spring, whilst singing traditional songs.

Yool’s Grad Project

It’s the start of graduation projects for our 3rd years.

In the TV Studio last Thursday, we were treated to a look at Korean theatre from Yool.

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Yool wrote the following to explain her project:

“Yool made a model of Korean traditional stage in the 16th century for her gradation project. The model was motivated by Korean traditional artist Hwang Jinyi. Yool showed the exhibition of the model with Hwang Jinyi’s art work such as calligraphy, costume, props and music”.

You can see some examples of Yool’s work below.

TheatreCraft 2017 Event

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On Friday 3rd November, Guildhall will have a stand in the Marketplace at TheatreCraft 2017. This event is at the Waldorf Hilton Hotel in London and is for 16-25 year olds to come along and have a look at all the careers available backstage and behind the scenes within the theatre industry. Staff and students from Stage Management, Costume, Production Management and Technical Theatre will be in attendance throughout the day.

The event includes workshops, theatres, education providers, one-to-one careers advice and more. For more information on the event and to book a place, go to  http://www.theatrecraft.org/

The Crimp Plays

The Crimp Plays are a selection of short plays written by Martin Crimp. The plays included in this production are Play House, Whole Blue Sky, Face to the Wall and Fewer Emergencies. They are directed by Chris Kelham, with set design by Richard Gatti Associates and costume design by Cecilia Carey.

The production involves a sequence of gun shots. This is represented by balloons being popped to signify the shootings. The Stage Management team have worked with a selection of balloons and powders, as red powder comes out of the balloons when they are popped and settles on the floor of the set. Ideas for the red powder included flocking powder, poster paint and even Red Velvet cake mix!

You can see the cast working through the sequence in Technical Rehearsal below:

 

The production is in the Milton Court Studio Theatre tonight.

A Round Up of Stage Management Day

Here’s a taste of the activities the Stage Management students have been getting up around the buildings today on International Stage Management Day.

*The Crimp Plays had a matinee performance and will perform again this evening in the Milton Court Studio. This production has a Stage Manager, a Deputy Stage Manager and two Assistant Stage Managers. They’re also being helped out by Production Management, as you can see in the picture

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*The Consul is in rehearsal and the fit up is taking place on the Silk Street Theatre Stage. This production has a Stage Manager, a Deputy Stage Manager and four Assistant Stage Managers. Here are the Assistant Stage Managers hard at work

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*The Cherry Orchard is in technical rehearsals in the Milton Court Theatre. This production has a Stage Manager, a Deputy Stage Manager and three Assistant Stage Managers. Here is one of their props tables set for technical rehearsals in the stage left wing

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There are loads of Stage Management going’s on across the buildings on a daily basis, as well as visits to external companies and productions.

Happy International Stage Management Day to everyone working in Stage Management departments everywhere! #stagemgrs17

 

For more information on our Stage Management pathway, see www.gsmd.ac.uk/technical_theatre/programmes/ba_hons_technical_theatre_arts/stage_management_pathway/

Or come join us at an Open Day – www.gsmd.ac.uk/technical_theatre/open_days/ 

For more information on Stage Management in general, including International Stage Management Day, see www.stagemanagementassociation.co.uk/

Today is…

…International Stage Management Day 2017.

To start us off this morning, here is a blog post written by one the first year students, summing up the visits that we went on last week. These included a backstage tour of The Royal Opera House, seeing ‘Witness for the Prosecution’ at County Hall (directed and designed by the team that will be working on a drama production here later this term) and then to A&M Prop Hire.

In our first term as 1st year Stage Management students, we kicked off our trips this week with an amazing visit to the Royal Opera House where we were given the incredible opportunity to go backstage during one of the fit ups. The theatre was a lot bigger then we expected, with wondrously intricate pieces of scenery stacked neatly and perfectly ordered for the chronological building of each piece. We finished the tour with a visit underneath the stage where we got to see one of the trap doors!

Witness for the Prosecution was next on our agenda, a site specific production staged in the County Hall court room on the Southbank. This golden classic by Agatha Christie was hugely complemented by the court room atmosphere. It is safe to say we all enjoyed the evening.

To end the week, we had a trip to A & M Hire Limited in Acton. The store was a warren of extraordinary props that ranged from mystical statues from far off lands to jukeboxes from the 1950’s. We found all sorts of incredible props which encouraged and inspired us as we plan for our prop tables and productions still to come.

Thank you to everyone for making our week so memorable.

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Here’s a photo of the first years.

Check our Instagram throughout the day today to see what the students are getting up to around the school on Stage Management Day.

International Stage Management Day 2017

Tomorrow is International Stage Management Day 2017. Organised by the Stage Management Association, this day has been celebrated since 2013.

Check our blog and Instagram tomorrow to see what Stage Managers are getting up to around Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

The poster has been used in this post with the kind permission of the SMA. For more information on the work of the SMA, please see their website at https://www.stagemanagementassociation.co.uk/

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The Cherry Orchard

One of this terms drama productions is The Cherry Orchard. Written by Anton Chekhov, it is set in Russia and deals with the decline in a family’s fortunes. It is directed by Christian Burgess, with design by Polly Sullivan and lighting design by Jo Town.

The Stage Management team for the production have been gathering props together throughout the rehearsal period. Here are some photographs from their props spread:

As you can see, the team have been doing research to get items which suit the period the production is set in.

The Cherry Orchard opens in the Milton Court Theatre on Monday 16th October.