Cleveland's Classic Company at the Hanna Theatre

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"Are We All Met?"

-A Midsummer Night's Dream III, i

Keep up with all things Great Lakes Theater. Our blog is a great way to learn about the very latest Great Lakes Theater news/notes and enjoy extraordinary "behind-the-scenes" access to the creative process of our artistic company.

November 28, 2011 - leave a comment

Marley's Ghost

On average, it takes actor Lynn Robert Berg about 30 minutes to complete the layers of makeup that transform him from a handsome actor to a haunting ghost that has been dead for seven years! Berg has always had an interest in art, especially painting and he enjoys using his face as a canvas during every performance.

Berg is only onstage as Marley for 6 and a half minutes. But it takes him 4 times longer to apply his make-up. However, it's all worth it to hear the gasps from the audience when he makes his magical appearance from under the stage of the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare!

November 23, 2011 - 3 comment(s)

The 12 Days of (a) Christmas (carol)- Load In

On the fourth day of (a) Christmas (carol)...
Loading into the Ohio Theatre

The Great Lakes Theater Scene Shop Crew and the PlayhouseSquare IATSE Team spend 3 days loading in set pieces and focusing lights in the Ohio Theatre for A Christmas Carol. The crew of 30 unloads 3 trucks (including two 53-foot trailers) and transform the empty stage into a Victorian era Christmas in London! Even Santa (stagehand, Tom Boddy) pitched in by flying set pieces in and out during lighting focus!
Some of the set pieces have weathered the run of A Christmas Carol at GLT for 22 years!  Going into our 23rd season of the production, it was “time” to replace the large clock that is present throughout much of the show. Our carpenters and painter spent 3 weeks rebuilding, rigging and painting the new clock using the original design. This year, the tombstones also received a face lift! 
The GLT Costume Shop Ladies load the costumes into the theatre for technical rehearsals. With 25 actors in our production, there are over 70 “costume looks." That’s a lot of loads of laundry and dry cleaning!

November 22, 2011 - leave a comment

The 12 Days of (A) Christmas (Carol) - ooohhh the PUDDING!

On the third day of (a) Christmas (carol)....

Today we rehearsed one of the most heart warming scenes in A Christmas Carol!  The Cratchit Family Christmas dinner scene!
One of the Cratchit’s favorite dishes in their “extravagant” feast is the plum pudding!  Believe it or not - a plum pudding doesn’t contain a single bite of plum. Traditionally, the pudding is topped with cognac or brandy that is ignited before serving! But due to fire hazards in the theatre - our prop plum pudding is a mixture of foam and paint!
If you were celebrating Christmas at the home of Charles Dickens you may have found silver coins inside of pudding! They were baked into the batter to bring luck to those found them in their bite!! Although choking on them sounds like bad luck to us! 
The Cratchit Family actors, Antwaun Holley (Peter), Cameron Nelson (Sara), Jackson Daugherty (James) and Natalie Welch (Belinda) rehearse setting the table in preparation for Christmas dinner.
Dougfred Miller (Bob Cratchit), Ashley Coleman (Martha Cratchit), and Jodi Dominick (Mrs. Cratchit) join the family at the table for the prayer before the highly anticipated meal is served!

November 17, 2011 - leave a comment

The 12 Days of (a) Christmas (carol)- Rehearsals Begin

On the second day of (a) Christmas (carol)...
Rehearsals Begin...

25 cast members (including 10 young company members- between the ages of 5 and 13) play over 60 roles in the Great Lakes' production of A Christmas Carol!  For some of the cast this is their first year and they only have 11 days of rehearsal (including technical rehearsals) before they are in front of a live audience!  Other members of our acting company have been in A Christmas Carol for as many as 15 years!  Can you guess who!?

After introductions and company business, the adult company gathers around the table to do a read through of A Christmas Carol.  During a break, Production Manager, Chris Flinchum, and Music Director, Matthew Webb, talk important details while cast members, Rachel Jones, Maggie Roach, and Antwaun Holley catch up.

In the evening, the Young Company Cast Members receive a warm welcome from the Adult Company!  Our "Tiny Tims" Cassidy Nelson and Kayleigh Collins are instant friends as they work on dialect together. 

November 11, 2011 - 1 comment(s)

The 12 Days of (a) Christmas (carol) - Randomly Speaking

On the First Day of (a) Christmas (carol)...
"Deck the Halls"

The Great Lakes Theater stage management team must "Deck the (rehearsal) Halls" by taping out the outlines of the A Christmas Carol set on the rehearsal hall floor.

Stage managers, Corrie Purdum and Tim Kinzel, use the ORIGINAL BLUEPRINT from Great Lakes' first production of A Christmas Carol in 1989!!!  The colorful tape indicates set pieces, turn tables, doorways, trap doors, and special marks that the actors must hit everytime during rehearsals and performances.

After the floor is perfectly taped out, actual set pieces, rehearsal furniture, costumes, and over 200 props are loaded into the hall for the 9 day rehearsal period! The stage management team carefully double checks that all of the props are accounted for and in good condition after being stored on trucks for almost 11 months!

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