Behind the Scenes

This year’s edition of the Road Scholar Feast for the Senses began today with a tour of the OSF theaters. We had two guides today, Jonathan Luke Stevens (we’ll see him on stage later this week) and Kirsten Giroux, OSF’s Associate Director of Education & Engagement – they worked well together and gave us two different views of OSF’s operations.

Jonathan took us backstage at the Thomas Theatre; he even took us into the understory of the theatre, an area we hadn’t seen on previous tours, and showed us the machinery which raises and lowers parts of the stage to allow for prop movement and interesting actor entrances and exits.

We’d been able to visit the costume department in previous years; this time, we visited an exhibit OSF had set up in New Place showing costumes, props, stage management tools, and more (it’s really for school classes).

Lunch was at the Brickroom on the Ashland Plaza; we hadn’t been there before. It was OK, but suffered from time constraints – they probably should have had us pre-order.

After lunch, we went to a new winery, Hummingbird Estate, for a tasting. We left with a GSM, a Malbec, and a white Pinot Noir (it’s quite bright but definitely tastes like Pinot).

We returned to the hotel for “Stage Management 101” from Emily Robinson, who’d been our tour guide the last two times we’d come to this program. She explained what a stage manager does and why she loves being one.

Dinner was back on the Ashland Plaza at Oberon’s, where Diane and I both had Shepherd’s Pie. It was pretty good but would have been better with a beer.

And then it was back to the hotel for one more lecture, this one on “Costumes and Quick Changes” by Andrew Beyer. He took us through the role of the wardrobe department throughout the run of a show, and then showed us some of the tricks that make quick changes possible.