This was the weekend I was kind of dreading. It happens every year at about this time so you would think I would be used to it - SHOWCASE WEEKEND.
Showcase weekend is when my mommys spend Friday through Sunday at the theater building sets, rehearsing and performing for the ballet studio's yearly showcase. It is very tiring, from what I can see; and it requires them to be gone from early in the morning to late late late at night. Then they come home and fall straight into bed.
I snuggle very close to Mommy #2 then. VERY CLOSE. But she hardly notices as she is asleep almost as soon as the light goes out. I miss my Mommys very much on SHOWCASE WEEKEND.
This is some of the VOLUNTEERS who helped build sets this year. Mommy #2 (Mommy #1 was at school) said this year was GREAT because they had a lot of helpers and EVERYONE who came - came to WORK. There have been some years where it was just MOMMY #2, Auntie D the DIRECTOR of the ballet studio, and one or two volunteers. . . PERIOD! Those times made for very long SET BUILDING days and nights, to be sure.
Note the coffee in the foreground. This is one of THE MOST IMPORTANT tools they use on SHOWCASE WEEKEND! Mommy says she drinks more coffee that weekend than any other time of the year. I think she is exaggerating a little. . . on the other hand, those are BOTH her coffees and this was the FIRST DAY.
This is a view of some of the supplies they used for building the sets. It is really a lot of CARDBOARD, HOT GLUE, and LIGHTS but somehow they make magical settings that really tell the story of the show. Mommy also has a TOOL barrel with a hacksaw, screwdrivers, and lotsa of tape they call GAFFERS TAPE. It is the tape the light crew uses to tack down cords and things like that. It is like the DUCT TAPE of the light crew. But unlike DUCT TAPE, it is not quite so sticky and permanent. Guess what? Mommy also has white and gold duct tape in her barrel as well. You never know when you will need a touch of GOLD.
The components here are the TREES that will eventually fill the stage. . . actually UPSTAGE. DO you know what UPSTAGE means? It is the area to the BACK of the stage near the CYC (this is the cloth at the back wall of the stage which is illuminated or projected upon the create a background for the performance).
Mommy and the rest of the set crew worked hard ALL DAY building 19 set pieces. The used some GOSSAMER to bring color to some pieces and wood or beans to give them stability. When they were completed, lights were added to them.
Saturday was TECH and DRESS rehearsal. It was also the day the set was put into place and SPIKED (positions marked with colored GAFFERS TAPE). This is the LONGEST day of the WHOLE weekend. It starts early and goes until everything is ready for show day. TECH is the longest because each dance (there were 29 dances and an opening/closing dance) needs to have music and lighting cues coded into the system. That means the dancers are on stage posing for each dance ONE BY ONE. It takes a long time and sometimes things go wrong. After a quick dinner break, they do a DRESS REHEARSAL which is a run-through of the show beginning to end in order to time the show out AND make sure everyone knows what to do and when. It generally runs the length of the show which is 2 hours. Because TECH ran late, my Mommys did not get home until VERY LATE on Saturday.
Sunday was show day. There were THREE performances before pretty full houses.
This was the BEST picture Mommy could get of the sets onstage. She was really very busy all of the time so she just took a quick phone snap. The CYC is the light cloth on the right. The wrinkles were eventually straightened out so the cyc was a smooth surface. The black curtain on the left (looks like black space in this picture but is really a curtain) is called the TEASER. It reshapes the stage so it can look like a small room or a panorama. In the SHOWCASE this weekend, the GRAND CURTAIN (main curtain) broke and Mommy said they had to use the teaser to close off UPSTAGE to the audience while sets were moved on and off. All of the dances were started on a darkened stage with the Teaser open. It was challenging but they made the best of it. THE SHOW MUST GO ON!
The VERY LAST thing that Mommys #1 and #2 did was help STRIKE the SET. That is the OPPOSITE of building the set. They breaks down all of the sets, carefully roll and store lights and things that will be reused, and clean up the backstage area and dressing rooms. Because the theater does not belong to the studio, everyone's possessions need to be gathered and taken home. There are a lot of young children at the studio so there is always a LOT of lost and found stuff that needs to be gathered and taken to the studio for them to pick up.
Monday Mommys #1 and #2 stayed home from school and work to recuperate from all that activity. THAT was my favorite part of the whole weekend!