A Noble Experiment

by Julie Hennrikus

The Emerson Stage blog has undergone a face lift. New blogging software, and a new blogging philosophy. Let’s call it “something everyday”. The goal/hope/dream is to have SOME sort of content every day during the academic year. Some call it ambitious. I call it more than possible.

Friday morning, as Tyler posted in his State of the Season, we had three production meetings for our first shows of the season, all of which are in rehearsal. NINE was just cast. THE GOLDEN AGE will be cast as of Monday, and auditions for X DANCE are next week. We have info meetings for playwrights regarding NEW FEST, and I have a MAN OF LA MANCHA meeting next week. With all of this activity, plus stage managers taking CPR, forums with visiting guests not to mention faculty, staff and students and their wide range of work, how can we be lacking blog material?

So check back often. Follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook. And let us know what you think as we give you a glimpse into life here at Emerson Stage.

State of the Season – Oct 1

By Tyler York

It’s October 1st and work on the productions in our 2010-2011 Season is humming along nicely. We are three weeks away from the opening of LIGHT UP THE SKY in the Paramount Theatre (hooray!), which means we have less than three weeks to finish our work. From all accounts things are going well and there are some exciting things in the works for this weekend that would bring even more of the late-40’s magic of Boston to life onstage.

Sitting in on the series of production meetings this morning, I was struck by the fact that we have four shows in various states of production and another four in pre-production. The conversations taking place in each of the three meetings today demonstrated this fact:

In the LIGHT UP THE SKY meeting, all were in a light, jovial mood as finishing touches and technical load-in schedules were discussed. In fact, I couldn’t help but note the collegial spirit of the group and make a mental comparison to the relationship shared between the characters in the show.

THE ACTOR and THE ACTOR’S NIGHTMARE centered around conversations about specific elements of the production, the width of a balustrade for example. Fabric was also a recurring topic of conversation. Scenic and Props are looking at fabric today for furniture upholstery and Costumes will be sharing fabric swatches with Lighting soon for testing to ensure the color of a costume isn’t affected by lighting and vice versa. All part of the collaboration required to put on a well-designed show!

BUD, NOT BUDDY, our TYA production, is in the early stages of production. Rehearsals just began this past Monday and the cast and director, Robert Colby, are having fun exploring how the set and costumes can help character development. Naturally, those explorations bring about a lot of questions! By bringing those questions to the production meeting, designers and production staff can help define the realm of possibilities.

It’s all very exciting. The fourth production this semester, NINE, was recently cast and will soon join the roster of production meetings… and so the cycle continues.


Tyler York is the Assistant to the General Manager of Emerson Stage and an alum of Emerson’s BFA Stage/Production Management program.

Stardate 9.28.2010

Laurie and Brian hard at work, on The Actor's Nightmare

By Richelle Devereax-Murray

Welcome back.  It’s a new school year and everyone knows what that means!   You don’t?  Well let me tell you,  it means four fabulous shows.   Currently in the shop we are working on Light Up the Sky,  Actor/The Actor’s Nightmare and Bud Not Buddy.   Nine will be added into the mix soon, it’s a happening place here.

The racks are full of pulled costumes,   sketches line the walls and the crew is busy with alterations of all kinds.

Today I had fittings with Courtney Irizarry (the designer),  for  The Actor’s Nightmare.  For one scene, Brittany Halls will be wearing a dress that made it’s first appearance in an Emerson Stage show when it was built for The Philadelphia Story, however we will be altering it to look a little different.   That’s something we do often.   We pull things from our stock and alter them to suit our needs. So when you see The Actor’s  Nightmare, the dress will be so different, that you won’t realize it’s the same one from a previous show.   Most likely you didn’t see The Philadelphia Story, unless you are a Senior so we can just pretend it’s a brand new dress anyway! :-)

A show will have many costumes from other shows,  our stock room is full of past shows.  It’s a little walk down memory lane.   We have even found costumes with labels from the first Majestic show, George M.   If you want to hear great stories some time, ask Mary Ellen Adams about that show.

See you next Tuesday for more tales of the costume shop.  What will we make, what will we dye, what cookies will we eat??

Looking Ahead to 2010-2011 Season

Well, this season isn’t even done yet (have you got your ticket to INTO THE WOODS? Don’t delay!) and we are planning next season. Auditions for the first three shows are coming up (casting is done before summer break), and lots of other pre production work is being done.
Here’s next season:

Light Up the Sky by Moss Hart
Directed by Melia Bensussen
October 21-24, 2010 in the Paramount Theatre

The Actor by Horton Foote and
The Actor’s Nightmare by Christopher Durang
Directed by Maureen Shea
November 4-7, 2010 in the Greene Theater

Bud, Not Buddy adapted by Reginald André Jackson
From the book by Christopher Paul Curtis
Directed by Bob Colby
November 11-21, 2010 in the Semel Theater

Nine by Arthur Kopit/Maury Yestin
Directed by Bill Fennelly, Guest Director
December 9-12, 2010 in the Greene Theater

XDance 2011

Artistic Director Marlena Yannetti
February 10-13, 2011 in the Greene Theater

The Golden Age by Louis Nowra
Directed by Benny Sato Ambush
February 24-27, 2011 in the Black Box Theater

Newfest and Newfest Readings
Directed by Joe Antoun
March 24-27, 2011 in the Semel Theater
Submissions due by November 5, 2010

Man of La Mancha by Dale Wasserman/J. Darion/M. Leigh
Directed by Stephen Terrell
Guest Artist: Jeff McCarthy
April 14-17, 2011 in the Paramount Theatre

What show are you most looking forward to?