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Today I went to Church.... It's been a while. The service was abridged... yuk. :-/
After that RITSMA had concessions at NTID. yea. I am the woman with the clubspace key, I am the woman with the clubspace key.... :-P

We had enough people! It didn't take forever! Yea! And we did "great" with concessions.. says Paul... I can never get a straight answer out of him. :-P

I got to watch the show for free. And its a good thing... if I had payed for that.... I would have been upset.
I, equiped with the knowledge of sign-language, could have done 5x better than that. I say to Jim Orr(director), "Have you ever heard the saying 'too much of a good thing'? or 'a little goes a long way'? or 'less is more'?" Obviously not. The sets were extremely large... and pretty cool(other than a few visible wheels that I would have hidden..) but at the expence of 10 minute scene changes that occur while unrelated skits are performed in front of the curtain. Blah... and they say most of NTID's shows are like that.... That's too bad. There were a bunch of things that seemed really un-professional to me(cheering behind the curtain at the end, etc).... and then there was the Pantomiming(sp?). I can't even begin to explain how much that sucked. If you are going to pantomime props and such, everyone on stage should be aware of there existance and where they are at all times.... like characters should NOT walk through the stove.... barbells should not be held with a tight fist... etcetera. Oh, the lighting was pretty cool... 'cept when the houselights came up during the performance... we think they were trying to do something else and hit the wrong button.. oops. :-P *shrug* Even that version of Singing in the Rain that I saw was better than this(yes, Lindsay, can you believe it???). *shrug*

Remind me not to pay for an NITD show.

Actually, I won't need a reminder.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 6th, 2002 10:25 am (UTC)
Keep in mind it's a show acted and directed for a deaf audience. The voice actors are hardly anything more than an afterthought. I realize most of what you were criticizing would still apply, since it was visual, but perhaps a deaf audience watches differently than a hearing one, and the things that matter to you don't matter as much to them.

My major criticism would be about the numerous times things happened for no apparent reason or without explanation. Like, in the middle of a scene, suddenly some weird spotlights float around the set and all the actors over-act being scared and run away. Then a weird dragon-looking sea serpent with its head on a Tops Savings Cart and the body carried by 6 people comes out, turns around, and leaves. The next time it comes out, the 6 people get out from underneath the body and hand the huge prop to other peole, then proceed to act out something that makes no sense on top of everything that just happened that I'm still trying to understand.

And then there was the underwater fight scene. Is that really in the story or was it supposed to be comic relief? :-P

I guess what I'm trying to say is the directing style was too abstract. I know directors are supposed to have this freedom of interpretation thing, but this was a bit too much.

As for the set, I thought it was impressive... especially how they managed to fit all those huge set pieces on and off stage. There were at least four major sets that consumed the entire stage with walls and platforms. Where do you store something like that? Especially when you have no curtain legs to hide behind... from our seats we could see the fly station against the backstage wall. I'm guessing they did some tricky stuff like taking the angled walls (in the bedroom scene) and straightening them out to be flown up to the ceiling. But then they still had to leave enough room up there to fly four people at a time. I almost wish they had skipped the curtain show idea and just let us see the set changes take place. Except that from working on a past production I know that the set change crew never knows what they're doing and takes forever, looking very unrehearsed and unprofessional. :) And that was for Good Person of Setzuan, the set of which consisted of nothing but two huge platforms that were anchored to pivot points on either side of the stage near the curtain so that they could be rotated into and out of position. Even with only an arc of stop points to deal with, they managed to get confused. :) In one scene the two set pieces were supposed to be in a position where they joined together, but they didn't get it quite right, so the actor who was supposed to cross from one to the other had to jump, as the stage manager shit his pants. :) I got to witness all this entertainment from my lighting console position in the stage-left wing. I had my own goof-ups as well. In one show I brought up the lights in the slide projectors too early when I accidentally hit GO twice instead of once. But that show was just as abstract as Peter Pan, and I don't think anyone cared or even knew that they were seeing unexplained photos of sights around Rochester a minute or two earlier than planned.

But anyway, despite all this criticism, the NTID theatre department is doing a very unique thing and I applaud them for that.
May. 6th, 2002 12:34 pm (UTC)
First of all... I would just like to say that Stage Crew rocks. I was on StageCrew for all of my high school career(interupted by a *breif* acting stint). If organized and under the direction of a good stage manager, there is no confussion, everyone knows what they are doing and there are no problems. That was the other thing that bugged me. The crew gets a curtain call?!?!? NO! WRONG!! BAD!!! Gah.

The other thing I realized when I was talking to Heather about the show this afternoon, is that if you didn't know the story line, you might not have even picked up on tinkerbell's roll in the show(supposedly important). Also, to the untrained eye-- it could have been a good show... being over whelmed in every way, shape and form could fool someone into thinking that was a good thing. It isn't. :-P

My opinions. :-)
May. 6th, 2002 01:45 pm (UTC)
But don't forget NTID has a deaf stage crew that must rely on closed-circuit TV in place of headsets. That adds a delay. And even if someone communicates to the stage manager that there's a problem to the set, he must then communicate to the crew what they need to fix, so he neesd to get someone's attention somehow... anyway, it's just a lot more complicated. I'm not saying it can't be done. But it requires a lot of work and every crew member should know by heart exactly what they need to do so they don't make mistakes that need to be corrected in the first place. If they avoided the need for emergency communication, their deafness wouldn't be a problem in the scope of the show.

Whether deaf or hearing, a stage crew should know what they're doing. The only difference is that when a hearing crew makes mistakes, they can whisper quickly to each other and correct it, but when a deaf crew makes mistakes, that same communication takes significantly longer. A deaf crew should therefor have added reason to avoid mistakes, but from my experience with one crew, they don't make the added effort.

As for the storyline part, I'm ashamed to admit I don't know the story well at all. I've never even seen the movie, to my knowledge. I saw Peter Pan produced by my high school, or the town's theater guild, when I was in elementary school. I was fascinated by the flying but didn't catch the story at all. And Tinkerbell in that production was a HeNe laser. :) Anyway, I think maybe NTID's production relied too much on us already knowing the story, and that's a bad thing to do. The director shouldn't worry about insulting our intelligence by telling a classic story.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )



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