A huntin’ and a gatherin’

The mad and ridiculous rush to the Christmas deadline didn’t apply to MARC Up.

Instead, with final rehearsal for 2012 on 20 December, actors were given homework – lines, accents and publicity material. The poor producer didn’t get a break either – but it didn’t help that she gave herself a long list of tasks to do.

Everyone has to chip in and double up on roles that would normally be done by others if time, money and extra people allowed. One of my tasks is to help search for props and other items for the set. When our set designer Bonnie handed over the prop list I couldn’t wait to get started. I love hunting for treasure, and without revealing too much, these items are from a time and place I’m familiar with.

So instead of wrapping presents, shelling prawns and disturbing the peace singing Christmas carols, I dived head first into dark cupboards, explored dusty sheds, sifted through piles of scrap metal, fished bottles out of bins. I drove Dad along gravel roads looking for discarded wooden boxes and appointed Mum as my production assistant on trips to second hand shops in Daylesford.

It didn’t stop there. On Saturday Kate, Bonnie and I shopped at the Salvos and IKEA (we managed IKEA in 20mins! Surely a Saturday record?) and debated over what pieces would suit which character, wouldn’t break the bank or our backs.

The design – set, props, lighting, sound and costume – is the other character you see on stage. It interacts with, speaks to and enhances the action, words and feelings of the actors. It completes the picture.

When you see a show or movie you may not give a lot of thought to all the people behind the scenes who make story come alive through their design. So next time you’re at a show or watching a movie think about how the light tells you what time has passed, the music that makes you think of your first boyfriend, the smells that reminds you it’s dinner time and the sound of heavy boots that tell you of danger. Then think about the designers that create this experience and how talented and passionate they are.

Thank you to the 35 people who pledged to our very successful Pozible campaign. We raised far more than we hoped for and as promised it will go straight towards production costs including design.


PS: Only 5 weeks to go. Tickets on sale next week via www.owlandcat.com.au

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