Friday, October 7, 2011

Theater guest blog: from the classrooms to backstage production

Guest blog by Colleen Crowder, Theater Apprentice for the Patel Conservatory at the Straz Center.

I have successfully made it a FULL week into the program! I can say that for the most part I kind of got the swing of things. I am familiar with who everyone is and where everything is for the most part. Today, while I was with production, I got to set up my first classroom. I had to help load in drum sets, keyboards and amplifiers. I can say that in all seriousness, those keyboards are heavy! I can definitely get my workout in with those.
On Monday, I was given an opportunity to conduct a few movement exercises with the Our Town cast. I had a blast and I feel like everyone was really receptive and embracing. It was nice to be included. I sat in during the time capsule exercise and took notes. It was so inspiring that I even got up and pretended as if I had brought something and I participated in the exercise as well. There is a big difference in the cast from a blocking, read through, rehearsal perspective to a movement and exercise perspective. I got to learn a lot about everyone from just sitting in the circle with them.
Earlier today I got a little more acquainted with Glynn [Owens]. He is absolutely awesome with the kids. Even there if a “button-pusher” he deals with them tactfully in a way that does not affect the learning of the other students. The children in all of the classes are extremely disciplined. I believe that the type of staff that are here have a lot to do with that as well.
As I walk through the halls from classrooms to offices, scene shops to stages, I observe the children. I can’t even begin to explain how much in awe I am whenever I see them. There is so much talent and potential in the entire building it is so amazing. While I was in the scene shop I overheard the Rock School class. First of all, anyone who can play any guitar is a genius in my book! The way the students caught on to the music was truly a delight to hear.
I have been spending a lot of time thinking about how much further I want to go with my career in theater. Honestly, being here makes me put all things into perspective. There’s so much to learn, so much to know and so much to do. I do feel like the sky is the limit. I appreciate having Ami [Sallee] around because she is extremely helpful. It’s good to have someone close by that can answer questions that I didn’t get resolved in college. I am looking forward to Our Town rehearsal later on tonight. Since joining the program it had been awhile since I sat in on a rehearsal. It’s good to get back into the swing of things.

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