Outside the Gaslight Theatre (358 N. Boyle Ave.) home of the St. Louis Actors’ Studio.
In our short time together, I have admittedly been spending most of my time working with the cast in our makeshift rehearsal space in the building next door to the performance space. Rarely in a rehearsal process do I have the luxury of rehearsing in the performance space until tech. And with good reason- the set designer needs to work her own kind of magic in transforming a black, empty space into a breathing, vibrant environment for the characters to live for a few hours each night.
My Three Angels set designer, Cristie Johnston, has been given the challenge of devising a unit period set to accommodate nine actors, six entrances and exits, and platforming in a 20’ x 20’ box.
The ground plan for My Three Angels.
Her vision for the space has been working in the rehearsal space. Although Amy taped out (more or less) the ground plan in the rehearsal space- we are working in smaller and slightly different dimensions than we will have in the Gaslight Theatre. This is reassuring to me (and the actors) who have been feeling lightly cramped with all the characters, blocking, furniture, and numerous props. The transition into the performance space on Monday is going to be very exiting. I fully expect the show to take an obvious and enormous step forward when the actors move into the Ducotel home in the Glaslight Theatre with the atmospheric elements of lights and sound.
Cristie on stage with her set … in progress.
I spent yesterday afternoon and evening at the theatre working through the light and sound cues with Amy and designers Robin Weatherall and Steve Miller. Robin, our sound designer is some kind of a wizard- creating original “harmonica” music and tracking down some beautiful selections evocative of the show’s period, season, and mood. The play’s sweet and salty tone must extend beyond the visual and an appropriate soundscape is a powerful means of stirring emotion. It was exciting to watch and listen as the moments of Steve’s lighting were brought together with the sound- now we just need actors in place!