Creatures of the Night

Focusing S. Katy Tucker’s projections

Opera requires an intensive “tech” period, part of which is devoted to hanging, focusing and cueing the lighting that serves functional and expressive purposes. And, in the case of our Boheme, this same period encompasses everything that’s required to get projected images and video onto a hanging screen. Under “normal” circumstances, hard-working, pale-faced designers, running crew, and stage managers sit in a dark theatre all day doing this detailed work before the cast shows up at night. But in an outdoor theatre? Well, daylight isn’t so easily avoidable.

The view from upstage right

That’s why tech started this afternoon, kicked into high lighting/video gear at sunset, and will continue until sunrise. The theatre belongs to about 15 of us, and the overnight hours are spent in quiet productivity, to the gentle voice of the lighting designer on the intercom. The stage managers “walk lights,” standing and sitting in various locations on the stage while the designer and crew write cues. It requires stamina, patience, and a good book.


Singers were at the Kennedy Center tonight with the National Symphony Orchestra, and from all reports, there was some serious music-making. Everyone ends up here tomorrow night, and we really see what we’ve got!

As of this morning, we were sold out in front and rear orchestra, but some held seats were released this afternoon. You should be able to find good seats on the orchestra level, at least for the first part of Thursday.

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