Here’s the video post I was talking about before. I came back covered in paint today, so no posts yet. However, I am going to break down the past two days into two: Paint/Set and Sarospatak/Culture. Expect them all tomorrow before I head out with the Crescendo Institute on an excursion to the Tokaj wine region (pronounced ‘toll-kai’).

Getting to Hungary, Part 2

Hey, so I was really exhausted and opted to post a video blog instead. Unfortunately, the video won’t post, so I’ll write a longer one tomorrow. Let’s just say that he day ended with someone on my hall practicing Don Giovanni’s Act 2 song ‘Deh vieni alla finestra’ (my favorite piece in the opera) on their mandolin. Here’s a sample of the song:

Here are also a few pictures of the landscape from my dorm room/hall.

More to come later!




Getting to Hungary, Part I

Considering the fact that I haven’t been on a plane since I was 14, and that I’ve never been abroad (let alone gotten there by myself), I would say everything has been going pretty well. I’m preparing to board the plane in a few minutes- I’ll be using Air France for the entirety of the trip. Unfortunately I won’t be able to head into Paris, but I will pass through it on the way to Budapest. All in all, I still find this pretty exciting (the screenwriter of the 1955 film ‘Sabrina’ might disagree wit me, though).

Last week I interviewed Matt Allar, the designer for Don Giovanni, but unfortunately the video wasn’t working. However, the insights he had into working on a production in Europe were useful. I think the biggest difference will be how I as an American will approach the work. Matt described the Hungarian approach to tackling a production as ratcheted (or stair-stepped), meaning that everything gets done but the path is not always straight. Sometimes one will jump between what was ‘completed’ and what still must be done.

Regardless, I’m excited for what Hungary has in store for me! Getting on the plane now, I’ll share more further down the line.


Rakoczi Castle

Just for those of you out there who are interested in the castle that I’ll be working in to create Don Giovanni, here is a link to the 360 degree view of the courtyard. Enjoy!


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!




Model for Richard III


In preparation for Hungary and as part of my class, I’ve been working on a maquette, drafting, creating Photoshop projects, and interpreting ground plans for The Virginia Shakespeare Festival’s Richard III and Turn of the Screw. This is just one example of the model Matt and I completed, which helps actors, designers, and the director gain a sense of what the space will look like. Using a model also facilitates further blocking/design.