Today we chat with Ethan Miller; co-lighting designer for our upcoming show “She Kills Monsters; Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen.
Q- Tell us a little about yourself?
A-I’m a third year BA theatre student and study lighting.
Q- This show is unlike a normal performance. What were some of the difficulties?
A- Working with the webcams the actors had and how light shows up on their end when we see the show.
Q- Not being able to go to the actors location, how was getting the lighting handled?
A- The actors were given a kit. In this kit were three little flexible lamps with colored filters. The we helped them set them up by a live Zoom meeting where we gave them directions.
Q- What made you interested in lighting?
A- The story telling element that lighting brings to a show and the use of lighting as an atmospheric effect. Also, lights are cool!
Q- What are you plans after you graduate?
A- I how to work for a theatre company starting as an electrician and working my way up to design.
Q- What do you hope people take away after viewing this performance?
A- That theatre is still living. It’s still alive!
Today we present a blog interview with a Longwood Theatre freshman Meg Daniel. “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen is her first Longwood show.
Q-Tell us a little about yourself?
A-I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. In high school I did two shows but this is my first big role. I went to Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, but grew up in Chesterfield. I have worked with Chris Klinger and now get to work with his wife Professor Lacy Klinger, the director.
Q- What got you interested in theatre?
A- My fourth grade teacher told be about a director friend and I said “I want to be in a movie.”. She then told me about a production of Annie, I got a part and played an orphan. I’ve been hooked ever since!
Q- How is this production different for others you’ve done?
A-The experience itself. The cast, Professor Klinger, working with Matt Howard. We wasted so much time in high school during rehearsals and I’ve had a great time. If I have a bad day, I go to rehearsal and I feel SO much better. It makes me happy. One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had as an actor. I love it a lot.
Q-Why did you choose Longwood?
A- Honestly because of Dr. Scarrow. I didn’t want to come here at first, but then I came for new Lancer Days and met Dr. Scarrow with my parents. Once I left that day it hit me, this is where I need to go. My Dad said the same thing.
Q- What’s the one thing you hope people who see the show take away from the performance?
A- I want everyone to take away the fun. We’re not going through easy time right now and even though there’s sad things in the show I want them to laugh and enjoy it. Cause we need that. Let’s have some fun!
The freshman theatre class has a seminar with Dr. Ronda Scarrow. In this session they are performing monologues, which they have been practicing, in front of a camera for the first time in order to see themselves and learn about movement and pacing.
The class listening to a student perform. The camera is also projected on a big screen.
In a couple of weeks from now, you’ll be able to watch these freshman theatre students perform their completed monologues on our YouTube channel. You can find the link in the menu above.
Looks like students hard at work. I wonder what they’re making…..
Quirky hats! How demure!
It’s not all fun and games though, here is some more of the student’s handiwork.
Today we are getting the inside scope on what it’s like painting backdrops for our upcoming production, “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen, with Senior Hailey Bean, the co-scenic designer for the show.
Q: Tell us what differences there are in making backdrops for a stage show versus a video production?
Hailey: The way we are doing it gives us the ability to make more than with a regular show. I think it’s cool to be able to show the audience what the scenes look like in our minds. Normally we are prohibited by other things in the space on stage and we have the capability to edit images into the scene in postproduction.
Q: Are all the backdrops hand painted and how does that process begin?
Hailey: When I first started deigning I put together a mood board for every scene then talked to the director to get feedback. From there I sit and paint on small pieces of wood. The paint crew will come in and make these tiny images bigger.
Q: You hand paint the original designs?
Q: Did you study art or have an art background?
Hailey: When I first went to collage I wanted to do something with art and took a few art classes, but my degree is in theater and my bachelor’s will be in theater. I get to combine my to loves, art and theater.
Check out some of Hailey’s original art designs below and look for there larger cousins on the screen soon!
If you are looking forward to our upcoming production of “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” and it’s relation to the world of fantasy and Dungeons & Dragons, then you should check out this memorial park in Carbondale, Illinois!
A great question once asked by Aretha Franklin, the queen of soul, but I wonder if she had any idea how prophetic her words would be! In just a few short months the entire country found out what a little company called Zoom was and has gone Zoom crazy!
Why do I bring this up, I hear you cry; because a recent article in the theater section of the New York Times talked about exactly that, how the theater community is using Zoom to present performances to the public; Longwood Theatre Department included.
While our upcoming performance of “She Kills Monsters; Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen is not being shown live to our patrons, it will be performed live and taped for your viewing. It will be just as if we came to your home and performed a personal show in your living room just for you! Plus the benefit of you being able to wear your comfiest pair of pajamas!
It takes a lot of work, some might say even more, than a regular performance. You still have lighting, costumes, makeup, and scenery but this time it all has to be designed, built, and transported to the students place of residence. Then students have to do more than act; they become lighting and set crews, makeup and wardrobe artists, all while being directed and coached, not to mention act, miles apart.
As someone who has tread the boards, I can tell you the feeling one gets from a live audience when on stage is like nothing else. You feed off it. It fills you. It enhances your performance like nothing else can. So to do this while looking out, not at an audience but at a cold computer screen….that takes an extra special kind of talent. As you will be able to see in just a few weeks from now.
Dungeons & Dragons; either you played, like I did, as a kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, or you play as a kid now growing up with revised versions of the classic handbooks. Either way the game is a fun, engrossing, rollercoaster ride of fantasy and magic! Those words also are perfect to describe the current production by the Longwood University Theatre Department, “She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms” by Qui Nguyen.
It tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she finds herself catapulted into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and ’90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.
A special online performance is in rehearsals now and will be available for viewing November 11th through November 15th, right here on our “Performances” page. A special code to view the performance will be required which may be obtained by calling the Theatre Box Office at a future date to be mentioned here on our blog page, so bookmark us now!