Acting ensemble performs with new staging style


Tori Swart

Actors transition between scenes on the newly built stage. This semicircular platform was assembled in the course of a total of three weeks- two weeks of building, and a week’s break to work with the lights on stage that could only be adjusted manually. “Those lights are dead-hung, meaning they are just chained to the ceiling. You have to use a Genie to work with them, but a Genie could not get up onto the stage. So, we had to take a break,” Aves Theatre director Mr. John Whapham said.

Tori Swart

The Little Theater has gotten an extreme makeover. Instead of a standard flat area, the stage now features a second level along with two curving ramps that extend back down to the bottom level.

One could imagine the set-up as a balcony with two curving staircases, or, in the case of the fall play The Odyssey, an island rising up out of the ocean, with the ramps representing where land leads into water.

“The majority of the story takes place on various islands, which is why we like the rounded shape of the platform. The different levels also provide interesting acting areas,” Aves Theatre director Mr. John Whapham said.

Theater students may recognize the platform from its past occupation as the rotating stage, which has been used in productions like the 2012 spring show of “Into the Woods.”

For the purposes of “The Odyssey,” however, the stage is used as a stationary feature- an idea, Whapham says, that has been discussed since the beginning of the year.

Theater technicians brought in the platform piece by piece over the course of two weeks, with a pause in the middle to adjust lighting on stage.

“The day we brought in the pieces was a long one. There were a lot of pieces to bring in. We also had to make wooden legs to hold up the ramps. It was definitely worth it, though,” senior Alexander Turner said.

Members of the acting class began using the platform on Tues, Oct. 7, walking through each scene and adjusting movement to include the second level.

As sophomore Elsa Benson said during this first rehearsal, this “stationary rotating stage” is a concept that has never before been used by Aves Theatre.

“It feels really cool to be the first cast to use this kind of a stage. It makes you feel like you’re part of history,” Benson said.

The fall play, featuring the newly designed stage, will be performed Nov. 6-8 at 7:30 p.m.