Introduction of Order
By Carolyn McBurney, Jessie Tully & Zachary Arnold
All last week the writers of The Age of Eibhleann told us about creating the characters, magics, and different worlds that combine to create this magical coming of age story. They also began to prepare the Ensemble for their journey! But, before the Brelby Ensemble can actually set off on their Quest, they will need to have the most powerful of creatures on their side and helping them move forward. These creatures are known as Stage Managers and without them no Quest will succeed. First time Stage Manager, Carolyn McBurney and her fearless Assistant Stage Managers, Jessie Tully and Zachary Arnold, are here today to make sure the Ensemble start out in the right direction and keep to the path.
Tell us about stage managing a devised show and how it differs with other productions you have worked on. What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process?
Stage Managing a devised show is a very unique experience. The biggest difference from the average production is that while we each have our assigned role– actor, crew, designer– we are all involved in devising the script; everyone has an equal voice in this process. The writers built these magical worlds and got the script to a certain point but delivered it to the directors and actors with elements left to be explored and fleshed out in the rehearsal process. This has made the characters and the worlds feel so much more real. Not only are we blocking and taking notes for designers as we would with any production, we are constantly adding new creative elements and changing things every day.
The best part of the rehearsal process is watching the Brelby Ensemble work together and explore. These people are some of the most creative and entertaining of the brilliant group of artists we have at Brelby, so putting all of their great minds together is bound to create something magical.
How is a devised show different from other shows you have done previously?
There’s nothing like working on a devised show! This experience means you’re apart of something original and there’s not another production of this same show to pull inspiration from. Everything is new. And every has a say. We’re all constantly asking each other “what do you think?” or “who has an idea for this?” and it’s great!
What are you most excited for audiences to see?
Zachary: I’m really excited for the audience to see just how original this show is. This production has so many awesome effects. It’s going to be very visually appealing.
Jessie: I know this is expected from me but I’m really in love with Megan’s makeup and hair and Melody K.’s costume designs. I can not wait for people to experience the characters in person.
Carolyn: I am not sure if I am more excited for the magical effects that permeate the story or the puppetry aspects- either way it is an exciting process and a real challenge for me.
Talk about the challenges and benefits of working on a devised show.
It’s been really tricky to combine everyone’s ideas into one cohesive story. Everyone has these amazing concepts which makes bringing them together a huge challenge for the Ensemble. Because it’s a work in progress, there are some days when we don’t have full sections of scenes because they’re being revised. Everything is subject to change at any minute! Stage Managers by nature do not “go with the flow.” But, the experience is the biggest benefit. We are creating original art, taking risks, and getting excited about how our new ideas can come to life.
Our bags are packed and the path is set! But before we can set off on our journey to open The Age of Eibhleann, our Stage Managers, the most powerful of all Theatre creatures, have imbued the Ensemble with their own special type of magic that we can use at a moment’s notice should we need it on our quest.
Zachary: Caffeine Empowerment. The power to gain strength from consuming caffeine.
Jessie: The Power of Silence. No more asking for people to be quite back stage or hushing people. Just one look and boom no voice. I think that would be helpful on a quest.
Carolyn: Lost and Found Spell. Can’t find those socks Devon packed? Lost and Found Spell! Don’t know where you are in Lanmur Territory? Lost and Found Spell! One simple spell, so many uses.