Here are some more of Jay Yamada’s observations from a weekend of Pericles Tech:
- FIGHT CALL: Early in Pericles, Ron Campbell takes a long staff and swings it between Alex Morf’s legs. Now you would expect Dave Maier, the fight choreographer, to be worried about Alex’s family jewels. Actually, Dave would like Ron to hit Alex high up on the thigh, so he’s more worried about Alex’s knee.
- FIGHT CALL II: Danny Scheie is swinging a bare, blunt pine scimitar at Chris Kelly (playing Pericles) who is trying to catch it with his bare hands. Chris asks Joel, the director, “Is the sword sharp?”
Joel answers, “It will be painted.”
Chris asks, “Does Pericles think the sword is sharp?”
Joel responds, “I missed the metaphysical question. Yes, Pericles thinks the sword is sharp.”
- YEAR OF THE SAND DUNE: No, Cal Shakes is not doing Beach Blanket Babylon. But there is a lot of sand on the set.
According to Cal Shakes’ resident technical director Dave Nowakowski, the set will eventually have “over three thousand pounds” of sand on the deck. Cal Shakes buys Quikrete Premium Play Sand in fifty pound bags.
- VELCRO: Ron Campbell, while helping with an onstage costume change: “When the Velcro comes off, somebody cough.”
- PROPS: Danny Scheie takes the same bare, blunt pine scimitar and bangs it on the floor to make a point. It breaks into two pieces with a sharp crack. Jo in props will either insert a dowel in the middle and glue it back together or take two hours to craft a new one. I guess it depends on what else needs to be done in props by tomorrow.
- SOFTWARE VERSUS THEATER: Joel Sass, the director of Pericles, use to be in software development and testing at American Express. According to him the difference between software development and theater is that with software “you can push the delivery date back.”
- MORE SAND: Asked Jean-Paul, Cal Shakes production manager, how much the sand cost. It runs for about $4.50 a bag. Cal Shakes is also using 3,250 pounds of sand or 65 bags. Let’s see–that comes to about $300 for the beach.
JP also says there is a finer sand than what we’re using. He bought some of the finer stuff by mistake. He says they give you a funny look when you’re trying to exchange 20 of the 50-pound bags at OSH.
- RED VINES: Each stage manager has their traditions. Les is usually the stage manager for Cal Shakes’ first and third shows. She’s on tour right now with the Ballet at the moment (and going to China). At the start of Tech, she plops a four pound tub of Red Vines on her desk for everyone to share.
Got to Tech on Thursday–no Red Vines (and of course no Les). Fortunately the Orinda Safeway has a sale on tubs of Red Vines. Bought a tub and left it on the table next to the coffee and hot water in her honor. The big question is how long they will last.