Hi everyone! I’m Ally Thomas, the Education & Outreach Apprentice this season, and it’s been a pleasure to serve as Stage Manager for AMERICA: A MOSAIC! I had the opportunity to join the five Acting & Production Apprentices as they were writing and revising their piece, and it’s been a great experience to watch the show evolve from the early drafts of the script to where we are now in performances! We have one weekend under our belts, and we’re looking forward to five more performances this week.
As Stage Manager, part of my job is to coordinate the logistics for what everyone needs, and to make sure that there is a smooth flow of communication between all members of the team. This was especially important for communication about when and where rehearsals would take place. We all have many other projects going on within the company, and everyone is juggling so much that scheduling actually became one of the biggest challenges with this process. When we did meet, it was important to use our time as efficiently as possible. When you’re working on a project where five people all share responsibilities as performers, directors, and designers there are a lot of decisions that must be made, and a lot of opinions to consider. I’m so proud of this team for the way they’ve been able to collaborate and take ownership of their show.
Once we got into technical rehearsals, I would take notes in my script so that I could learn the order of all lighting, sound and projection cues, and execute the design that they had in mind for each tech element of the show. Tech rehearsals are always something special because that’s really when the full vision of the piece comes together for the first time- when the ideas that start out on paper actually come to life! It was impressive to witness how much the sound, light and projection added to the production; after that, it felt like we had a real show on our hands!
I’m so grateful that the staff at American Stage has let us be a part of creating an original work. This process has reminded me how important it is for each of us to share our voices and add color to that unique mosaic that is America.
There will be more blog posts from other apprentices released over the next few days. Each of us are getting to share our views on the process of making this work, so be sure to stay on the lookout for other posts coming soon! We can’t wait to share this show with you. If you haven’t already, come join us Wednesday 3/39- Saturday 4/1, following INFORMED CONSENT. See you there!
Putting Together the Show: Writing the Script
By Acting Apprentice Alexandria Crawford
Hi, everyone! My name is Alexandria Crawford and I am also an acting/production apprentice here at American Stage. One of the amazing things about this apprenticeship program is this opportunity to perform together in our own show. When we began meeting to discuss what exactly we were going to do, one thing that we knew from the beginning was that we wanted this show to really be OUR show. We wanted to tell a compelling story that spoke to all of us, both as individuals and as a collective group. After having some first hand experience working on the shows for American Stage’s season, “In Search of America,” we came up with the concept of exploring the search from our generation’s point of view. Thus, AMERICA: A Mosaic was born! In our show, we go on a journey where we face some of the hardest questions facing us as a nation today and try to answer them through the use of previously published works and newly written work we created ourselves.
To Write, or Not to Write? That is the question
So how does one go about deciding what will be included in a new show? If there isn’t a game plan, it can be difficult. Luckily for us, we had a rough outline of what we wanted this show to be and that helped us immensely. AMERICA: A Mosaic poses six questions to the audience at the top of each vignette. We first formulated the questions that we wanted to ask, using the different questions of American Stage’s mainstage shows as a guideline. Once we had those questions formulated, we each took a question and started reading plays to see if there were any that could possibly fit into the theme that the question posed. When we came back together for our next meeting, we would then read them and discuss them. While this was all going on, we started to also develop and write our own scenes that we thought could fit into the themes the questions were asking. While collaborating as a group, we came to the realization that sometimes we all have the same idea of where we think the story should go, but other times there were multiple ideas. Collaboration on a new work means trying out things and making cuts when need be. Sometimes that meant an idea one of us might have really liked, did not make it to the final draft of the show. What we did have was a beautiful balance of pre-published and newly developed works to tell the story of AMERICA: A Mosaic. We were very proud of what we created.
We hope that you come to see our show AMERICA: A Mosaic. It is a free performance that runs after INFORMED CONSENT, Wednesday-Saturday, March 22nd-April 1st here at American Stage. We look forward to seeing many of you there! Stay tuned for the next update from our apprentice team coming soon!
Melting Pot or Mosaic?
My name is Sadie Lockhart. I am one of the production and acting apprentices for the 16/17 Season. We have been working for months to create a show that is full of
important questions about America and where we stand today. The season theme is “In Search of America.” From this we developed our show title of AMERICA: A Mosaic. It is a mixture of both written and previously published plays. Our show shares many different perspectives and stories.
In the same way, America is a mix of many different voices and stories. People from all over the world come together to form America. In history class, we learned how America was a “melting pot” of people from all over the world. The idea of a “melting” pot seems to suggest that we are combining all of our cultures to create a new culture. The concept of America being a mosaic suggests that each perspective and each group of people moving to our land bring a story that doesn’t necessarily morph into one new culture, but that we combine to form a beautiful new picture and country.
What do you think?
– Do you think America is a newly formed culture of many cultures melting together?
– Or do you think that America is a bunch of many different pieces of a bigger mural coming together?
– How much do our stories affect each other?
– How does America come together to form a bigger, united nation?
Join us for AMERICA: A Mosaic after INFORMED CONSENT on March 22nd – April 1st! We can’t wait for you to attend the world premiere of this new piece. The journey of who we are as America is continually evolving to create the incredible country that we strive to be. We will see you on the 22nd! Stay tuned for the other apprentices’ updates coming soon!
Hello American Stage guests,
This is one of your American Stage Apprentices, Whitaker Gardner, here to give you a little more information about an exciting endeavor that we’ve had the privilege of working on over the last few months. We’ve had the opportunity to create and perform a show for our American Stage audiences and the wonderful community here in the Bay Area.
Our show is titled, AMERICA: A MOSAIC. This show follows the theme of our 2016/2017 Mainstage Season “in search of… AMERICA”, in which we take a look at the various topics and themes that have been, and will be, addressed in the selected shows of the season. AMERICA: A MOSAIC, is a mix of devised theatre, featuring material and scenes written by us, and work that has already been published by classical and contemporary playwrights. The show dates are March 22 – April 1, during the middle two weeks of the INFORMED CONSENT run on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
Our performances will immediately follow select performances of INFORMED CONSENT and will run around 45 minutes. The show will begin 15 minutes after each INFORMED CONSENT performance, meaning our show will begin at 8:45 pm on Wednesday nights, 9:45 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and 4:45 pm on Saturday afternoons. And did we mention it’s also FREE? Yes, that’s right, FREE!
We hope to see you all at our show. We’re currently working on the final touches and are deep into rehearsals. This opportunity given to us is a chance for us to perform on the beautiful stage here, and for you, our devoted audience, a chance to hear new voices telling a story together.
Be on the lookout on the various American Stage social media platforms for more information, promotional details and updates about our performances and well… us Apprentices.
Individually, we each will be writing on this blog to give you updates about our program and further announcements of exciting things we get to do here at American Stage.
What is the American Stage Apprentice Program?
The Apprenticeship Program at American Stage provides college students and recent graduates a chance to discover the inner-workings of a professional theatre—from production to finance, and everything in between—through hands-on experience and training by professionals in the field. Apprenticeships are offered for the length of the season (usually beginning in August and ending in June). This is a thorough and varied learning experience either within a department, or across several departments.
INFORMED CONSENT runs from March 15 – April 9, 2017. Performance times are 7:00 pm on Wednesday nights, 8:00 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. There are also matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Tickets are available for purchase through our website or in person through our box office. Visit www.americanstage.org/informed/ for Tickets & Info.