On Thursday April 8th, the travelling theatre group from the New Repertory Theatre, based at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, performed a modern adaptation of Macbeth at the Fogelberg Auditorium. The New Rep On Tour provides educational experiences for high schools in the region by performing plays like Macbeth and Animal Farm, which was performed at BHS earlier this school year. The performances allow students to visualize on-stage the plays that they read in their curriculum.
Stage Manager Kevin Parker, Booth Chief Chris LaRocque, and Assistant Stage Manager Tori Carrabino met with the stage manager from the New Rep On Tour group after school on April 7th to show her the theatre space and technical specifications("tech specs"). New Rep's stage manager proclaimed about the Fogelberg Auditorium: "You guys are spoiling us with such a nice space! And with people who actually know how to use its equipment! Usually we just have to perform in a gymnasium or a cafeteria." It was a concrete reminder to the stage crew about how lucky we are to have such a professional theatre to work in and reinforced how important it is for us to keep the theatre in top notch condition. Stagehand Nick Stewart helped Kevin and Tori prepare the stage, wings, and dressing rooms for the New Rep On Tour.
Because New Rep On Tour participates in many different spaces at all sorts of schools, its plays do not have lighting designs, nor do they count on the use of theatrical lighting to reinforce meaning. However, with the Fogelberg Auditoriums 3 electrics and catwalk, it was very easy to set up lighting for the performance. In addition, the stage manager from New Rep suggested that Chris and Kevin use cyc lights to come up with a lighting design that fit the play. Chris set up a wash (general white lights) for the entire play from the catwalk, and used blue from the second electric to highlight the playing space. Kevin and Chris then discussed and explored the use of cyc lights (red green and blue) and the various combination of colors to set the mood and tone of each scene. It was a great experience for Chris and Kevin to actually design lights somewhat on-the-fly for a professional theatre group.
After their performance, the cast of Macbeth held a Q&A "talkback" session where students could ask questions about important themes and theatrical techniques used in the play. During this talkback the cast gave a shout-out to Chris and Kevin for their work with lights and to all the tech crew for helping set up the space for their load-in.
And the first question asked by a student in the Q&A session:
"Was there any signifigance to the change in color of the lights?"
Yes. Yes there was.