Saturday, April 23, 2011

Behind the Scenes

Two down, one to go.  We did two performances of our Passion Play, One Voice,  yesterday.  The first one is always high energy, with a huge crowd.  The second is a much smaller crowd and after standing so long, it is hard to keep the enthusiasm up.

The tomb, part of the set, I helped paint a few years back.

I thought I would take you behind the scenes to see some of the prep work involved in a large production like this.  Most of the sets are used from year to year, just spruced up and altered to fit the chosen script.  Our church has about six different publications that they rotate through.  This years is a particularly long one (hour and forty-five minutes) primarily between two key players, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea.  It is a good insight into the political and historical times of Biblical Jerusalem.

There are close to a hundred people involved in this particular production, from sound and lighting technicians, set design and construction, directors, costuming, makeup, actors, soloists, choir, orchestra, and one very friendly and cooperative little donkey.

 Louise lives across the street from the church.  She stands very patiently tied to the lamppost outside until her triumphal entry into the streets of Jerusalem (she attends church on Palm Sunday and usually at Christmas in some capacity, as well) in the script.  She seems pretty much oblivious to the crowds, noise and carpets as she proudly walks up and down the aisles.

 Probably the two characters who undergo the greatest change in the makeup room are Jesus and John the Baptist.  Unfortunately I have not got a photo of either in an untarnished, unvarnished state, but they are two normal looking men, prior to the process.

In the process.

The finished product.

My missus was in charge of creating wounds ... an auspicious role.  Being the artist she is, she has done a lot of experimentation and finally came up with something, somewhat lasting.  Jesus gets beaten and pummelled quite severely even prior to the removal of his cloak, and by that point often the carefully executed cuts and bruises have faded and tranferred to the inside of the cloak.  So last night it was out with the Sharpies (indelible ink) and rubbing alcohol.  He'll have scars for the next month!

Jesus and two of the centurions (sans glasses might have been more authentic!)

John the Baptist presented other challenges.  He has a beard (but of course neatly trimmed).  It was bushed out with extensions.  Fluffy eyebrows and a wild, unruly wig and a rough burlap cloak completed the cave-dweller look.

Make up artist and director handing out last minute cues.

One more performance this afternoon and then we pack everything away for next year.  Last performance is always a bit nostalgic, but also a bit of a relief as well, as the busyness of the weekend finally winds down.

Some of the cast (minus techies and orchestra etc)

Happy Easter weekend.

And that is about all I have to say for today.

Musings and meanderings from the Musical Gardener.

1 comment:

  1. Phil,

    Thanks so much for the "Behind the scenes" look at Passion Play 2011!


Much appreciated comments from my friends: