PRINCESS THEATRE - Raising the Curtain: 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Day 4 - Lighting Design Workshop - Jon Chemay

Jon (Jonathan) Chemay, a Theatre Technician, in the Humanities Department, at Roane State Community College, taught today's class on "Lighting Design".  Jon is a regular fixture at the most all RSCC O'Brien and Princess theater productions.  He is the artful hand behind the lighting that we all take for granted, but as the students learned today, without lighting there would be no show!





Jon explained how lighting coveys mood, feeling, true color, time of day or season, and gives direction to the viewers eye.  Lighting can scare you, or make you happy, sad, and all the other emotions actors try to express on stage.  





The students in the fourth day of camp expressed their interest by asking questions at Jon spoke.  There were also so "ooohs", and "ahhhs", as Jon changed the lighting effects on the stage of the Princess.
Evidence of their hard work yesterday was neatly stacked against the wall, waiting for their need on stage of Saturday's play.  You have to be there folks; it's going to be good...and funny!


The class is a happy bunch, who really seemed to get along, and encourage each other.  There was even some dancing and singing in the dressing rooms during lunch, and some even enjoyed some props (wigs).  I really liked being around them and wish the very best Saturday, I mean "break a leg"!

Please check out the play at 2PM or 3:30PM Saturday...rain or shine, and it's FREE!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Day 3 Of The Princess Theatre Camp - Set Design

Alex (Alexandra) Riggs, was on hand to instruct the students in Set Design today.  Turns out I've seen Alex before; on a sword fight at the Tennessee Medieval Faire!  It seems Alex isn't afraid to try her hand at anything.  She loves any form of acting, building sets, designing costumes, and even a little modeling.
 



She is currently studying at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), studying Technical Theatre Direction.  She also graduated from Pellissippi State Community College.  Her interest in all aspects of theatre production got her into carpentry. 



The 2017 class of the Princess Theatre Camp, was intrigued by her knowledge of tools, and gladly jumped in with both hands!  I seemed that it wasn't the first time some of these high school students had used power tools. tape measures, and been round paint!  Those that had little to no experience were not afraid to try, and did well.  There isn't a lazy person in the group!



Once the wooden frames were assembled, light canvas was stretched over them, stapled, and then splattered with paint.  That was when I got a little nervous; paint on the Princess stage!  However, Clarissa was quick to have them spread out plastic sheeting before starting.  Whew! 



I'm sure that more than one of them went home with some evidence of the day's instruction on their clothes, but no one seemed to mind.
Meanwhile, outside a heavy rain poured, but no one knew or even cared.  They were learning something great, and they were together!

Thus far, it appears the students are getting a well rounded introduction to theatre arts.  I sure wish I had such things offered when I was young!

Tomorrow is "Lighting Design", with my good friend Jon Chemay.  That will be of real interest to me; as a photographer.  See you then.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Day Two Of The Princess Theatre Camp Brings More Fun

Day 2 of the "theatre camp" got even more fundamental and fun.  By the time the show starts at 2, or 3:30, Saturday, the edges will have been polished and everyone will be ready to "break-a-leg"!  

Yes, wishing them bad luck is supposed to bring them success.  Theatrical types are well known for their belief in superstitions, or at least for their willingness to make a show of pretending to believe in them.  The term 'break a leg' appears to come from the belief that one ought not to utter the words 'good luck' to an actor.  By wishing someone bad luck, it is supposed that the opposite will occur. Other superstitions are that it is bad luck to whistle in a theatre, or to say the final line of a play during dress rehearsal.

Today's agenda included warm ups, rehearsal, and a costume design workshop with Kathryn Nabors.  And yes, she is kin to Jim Nabors!  (You young people will have to Google him!)


Kathryn is a Roane State graduate who is currently working on a "set design" degree in the theatre department a UT.  She showed the class her ideas on costumes for the upcoming play, and they began learning the finer "points" of a needle and thread.  We'll see what they came up with later.
I must say, at this point, after watching and listening to Clarissa's directions to the students of the first "theatre camp", that Roane State Community College has a great asset.  She knows how to schedule, plan, and direct student actors.  Her interpersonal skills with the students is remarkable.  She knows how to get them to do what they should without raising her voice.  Her directions are educated, thoughtful, and concise.  You can also sense that the students believe in her, and consider her a knowledgeable resource.

I have the feeling that with Clarissa's help, this "theatre camp" will continue to grow, year after year!  Thank you Clarissa.
Oh yes, this is the class, during lunch break, Googling this blog to see photos from the first day of class!

Monday, June 12, 2017

The 2017 Princess Theatre Camp Kicked Off Today

Fifteen area high school students helped kick off the first, but not the last, theatre camp at the Princess Theatre in Harriman today.
Roane County, Oakdale, Cumberland County, Rockwood, Oliver Springs, and Midway High Schools were represented, and one "home schooled" student were among the inaugural class.  Clarissa Feldt, the theatre camp organizer, and instructor Bill Landry, were on hand this morning to begin the students indoctrination into "theatre"!


After introductions, and some word association and improvisation, performed by each student, the group gathered for lunch.  There were Subway sandwiches for everyone in the "green room", where the student actors met Bill Landry for the first time.

After the lunch break, everyone gathered in the auditorium, where Bill started the "boot camp".  He had them running around the stage, up in the balcony, and all around the theater!  The session I listened to involved projecting their voices and personalities.  Bill is good at this, and the students will learn a lot from this veteran.





Later they broke off into small groups to come up with an improvisational skit, which had to be presented to the whole group from "center stage".

This is "The Dream" folks; something we have been dreaming of for 20 years - our youth learning about theatre; the arts!  The Princess has long yearned for the youth of this area, to come and learn the arts on her stage.  Who knows what talent may be born from these youth theatre camps at the Princess.

I urge you to come Saturday, either at 2 or 3:30PM, and see "How To Succeed In High School Without Really Trying".  This is the play this group will have learned to perform in just a week at the Princess Theatre Camp
I also urge you support this camp every year.  We need this...we need this dream to come true!
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