Gearing up for Hungary

Last week I had the opportunity to sit in on a conference call for don giovanni which was a really helpful experience! I have a much better sense of what I’ll be working with in Sarospatak; at the moment columns are inning built in preparation for our arrival. These pillars will be a critical component to the aesthetic of the show, which is set in the early 1800s (circal 1807-1812).

At the moment, it looks like I will not only be Matt’s Design Assistant (which, as a side note, is different from an Assistant Designer, for non-theater folks), but also the Properties Master for the show. Although I don’t speak Hungarian, the production staff has offered me a few assistants and volunteers to help me along.

To explain my duties a little it further: a Design Assistant essential works on whatever a designer might need for his or her production. If drafting needs to be done, a designer can hand that off to their DA. If a model needs to be built in 1/4″ scale, DA will do that. If much coffee is needed (and it usually is)…well, you get the picture.

A Properties Master helps build, renovate, or collect any items used in the show that are held, shared or consumed by actors. PMs also make sure props are where they need to be backstage, and set up/break down the props every night. I think the biggest challenge in this show will be the whole cooked chicken I need to find and possibly prepare for the show. But so it goes, it’s a learning experience and I am more than willing to accept the challenge.

I’ve attached a picture of the location for the production. This is from two years ago, and shows how where we will build the stage and set up the lights. It’s right inside the Rakoczi Castle courtyard, which is the primary tourist attraction in Sarospatak. I’m looking forward to also getting a look inside the castle itself.

Well, here we go! Just 4 more days until I board the plane to Hungary!

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