Spike Tape and Sound Clips

No, it’s not an elaborate game of hopscotch. It’s just the rehearsal room floor. If you’ve never been on the upstage side of the footlights, you might be interested to know what the performers spend weeks looking at before they get onstage.

We’re in our beautiful rehearsal space (natural light! air conditioning!) next door to the theatre, and the spike tape on the floor represents the contours of the set. Green is Acts I and III (the garden; with the music stands representing vertical panels in the set), and pink is Act II (the Underworld).

Now, it’s a blessing that I personally never have to navigate a rehearsal floor plan, let alone a real opera set. I’m spectacularly bad at translating two-dimensional symbols into real objects. (I’m reminded of when my husband was trying to navigate our rented 30-foot RV through the streets of San Francisco (don’t ask…), and every time I’d say “Turn right at the next street”, he’d scream, “But you didn’t tell me it went straight uphill!”) Anyway, more power to those talented singers who aren’t surprised when they get onto the stage and see real steps and rakes and other obstacles. And bravo to the stage managers who decode the ground plan and spend long hours measuring and affixing all that tape to the floor.

Good Things Really Do Come in Small Packages. Really.

This, yesterday, from Drew McManus over at Adaptistration, after his recent visit to Chicago Opera Theatre. He admits that he’s “never had a really memorable small budget opera experience.” Goes on to mention COT’s small budget that’s exponentially bigger than ours. Sigh… It’s the best things that come in small packages, my friend. No room for waste, for excess, for ego, for negative energy. Sleek, streamlined, clean and mean. :) Brian Dickie and I will convert you if it’s the last thing we do.

Hear It For Yourself

I’ve been relentless in my enthusiasm for Herr Telemann’s Orpheus. I believe I may have tamed technology enough to offer you a few 30-second samples.

If they don’t work, send me an email and give me the bad news. If they do work, there’ll be more.

Dr. Seuss Flowers

I will persist in foisting upon you random pictures of my garden. Since I don’t get to visit it in person a lot during the summer, its presence on these blog pages is comforting.

Today’s featured purple alliums are what one of my neighbors calls Dr. Seuss flowers. They multiply every spring, popping up randomly and making a mockery of any delusion of discipline in the garden.

One Comment


Thanks for showing people what spiking the set is — I’m a stage manager and its nice to know that the time-consuming work is well appreciated!

It does pay off in the long run!

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