Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Hello again!

Holy cow, a lot has happened. Thanks for being here while I get caught up.

Joaquin backstage,  getting ready to Stick it to the Man.
 Photo credit Claudia Ward

The most exciting thing to happen in a LONG time has been my involvement with the production of School of Rock at the Curran Theater in San Francisco. What an amazing show that was! Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber granted the premiere amateur production rights to local public school Oakland School for the Arts. This means that, while the Broadway production was happening, a lucky bunch of West Coast middle and high school students were able to also perform this show. 

As if that wasn't fun enough, a select group of talented and dedicated students in my Production Design department at OSA got to design the sets, lighting, sound, costumes, hair, and makeup! This was truly a case of life imitating art. 

Makeup Assistant Lead Michaela, Costume Assistant Lead Tenzin, Costume lead Georgia, Costume Crew Asha, and Hair and Makeup Lead Emma - part of my crew!
Photo credit Claudia Ward.

The absolute highlight was working at the Curran Theater, which was built in 1922 and has been home to some of the most amazing performances and actors of our time. 

Governor Jerry Brown and wife Anne Gust, OSA Executive Director
Donn Harris, and Carole Shorenstein Hays on opening night.
Photo credit Claudia Ward.
Eight-time Tony winner and Curran owner Carole Shorenstein Hays graciously extended an invitation to OSA, and the rest was magical. I led a team of eight students focusing on the costumes, hair, and makeup portion of the show, and the looks on their faces the first time they entered this glorious theater were priceless.
Hair and Makeup lead Emma keeping everyone shine-free.
Photo credit Claudia Ward.
These 15-17 year old kids were able to speak to, and learn from, true industry professionals and work in a high-level environment. The folks at the Curran couldn't have been nicer or more supportive either, even when surrounded by shrieking, giggling, dancing pre-teen actors. 

Horace Green Academy students. Photo credit Claudia Ward.

Opening night crew. Photo credit Claudia Ward.

Breanna is the Hair Assistant Lead and also the queen of blending.
Photo credit Claudia Ward.

Assistant makeup lead Michaela painting a custom tattoo on Snake (aka Max).
Photo credit Claudia Ward.
My students gave up their weekends and after school hours to design, cut, and sew costumes, plan makeup and character transitions, and source wigs. They created and hand-painted custom tattoos, built specialized costume components such as a specific walkie talkie for a cop costume, and devised creative solutions to multiple issues that popped up along the way. All told, we had 35 actors, 75 costumes, and so many concurrent quick changes that it would make your head spin! It was definitely hectic and overtook all other aspects of my life, but working with these students and seeing them grow and face challenges is an experience I wouldn't trade for anything. 

Dewey Finn & Ned Schneebly rocking out. Photo credit Claudia Ward.

Somebody always splits their pants opening night. Me and my trusty Janome.
Photo credit Claudia Ward.

Hanging with sound design student Kipper in the star dressing room at the Curran.
Photo credit Claudia Ward.

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