Tuesday, December 03, 2013

aslan is on the move | tales from the tour

As many of you know, PT's production of THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE is now on the road. This past weekend the gang spent some time at the Clarke Theatre in Mission, and on Thursday they leave for Kelowna and Kamloops. Over the next few weeks the cast and crew will be blogging with stories and pictures from their experiences on the road called "Tales From the Tour". Read on for another entry from tour Technical Director, Lauchlin Johnston:

Tour TD Lauchlin Johnston at the Clarke Theatre

The first thing that struck me about the Clarke Foundation Theatre in Mission is the absolute lack of curves in the design of the interior. In the place of a more conventional theatre interior with gently curving banks of seats and curved balcony facing a rectangular proscenium, the Clarke Theatre features seats arranged in wide V-shaped rows, geometric balcony fronts and a double-proscenium made up of two layers forming a quadrilateral opening. It’s very striking and frames Omanie’s elegantly simple set beautifully.  It seems that the acoustics benefit greatly too from all the flat planes – despite the seven hundred seats Kaitlin and Mack still felt very close.

 As lighting designer on this tour I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to re-imagine the lighting for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in many different spaces and with many different equipment inventories. The lighting cue list remains the same, but the execution of the visual aspect of each cue is different for every venue, much in the same way that our sound cues will sound slightly different when played over the different sound systems we encounter.  It’s the same show everywhere, but there are always new discoveries.

The highlight of our visit to the Clarke Theatre came directly after our student matinee. Our stage manager Laura and I were waiting in the booth for the audience to clear when through the open booth door one boy yelled “You guys did a great job back here! Thank you!” and then ran away.  We had just been talking about how well the student audiences respond to the subtle theatricality of the play, and how on some level some of them must be aware of the intricate layers of text, physicality, sound and light that go into the storytelling – and that right there was proof.

Up next, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE stops at the Creekside Theatre in Kelowna BC, Dec 6-8th. Ticket info and more can be found here, or by phoning their box office at 250-766-9309.  

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