Monthly Archives: April 2013
I was contacted by Mark Cajigao, who I’d met playing Trigorin in the production of The Seagull I shot back in February. In this production he was playing Welsh poet Dylan Thomas in Dylan. The show follows the poet’s life during his trips to America and his travails with drink, women and the double edged sword of celebrity. I must admit, I don’t know much about Thomas’s life, though I knew that he was a habitué of the White Horse Tavern. This tragic, though often humorous look at his final years was a good evening of theatre.
The show was performed at Voorhees Theater, which is on the campus of CUNY City Tech. This space is a hidden jewel normally used as a teaching space for their Entertainment Technology department. It’s a well appointed, if small space, but with top notch technical appointments.
The shoot went well. I was given the second row to work in and, given the small space and intimacy, there was no problem getting some lovely shots of the actors. I mostly shot with the 70-200 with some fill in from the 24-70 to get some wider shots of the set and some of the more spread out group scenes. I kept the ISO up at 6400 and was mostly covered, except for a couple of scenes that were very softly lit.
I got to return to the Pearl Theatre Company and shoot their latest show: This Side of Neverland. What a different space! From the sprawling, wide-open expanse of Henry IV, Part 1, to a constrained homage to the turn of the century theaters that might have portrayed J.M. Barrie’s plays in England. Having only known Barrie as most people probably do, from Peter Pan, it was interesting to see two of his one-act plays that were, frankly, probably a bit subversive in his day! Rosalind explores women and aging, especially women of the stage and how they must stay young to land roles and the choices they make of diet and fashion over comfort; career over family. The Twelve Pound Look takes a look at women’s independence and the false security of success and ambition. Both dealt with their themes with easy humor delivered with an occasional sting.
The shoot was uneventful. The lighting was the brightest I’ve dealt with for a while, so I was able to shoot at nice high apertures and at a relatively low ISO. My one challenge was that, especially in the first piece, the costumes tended to blend in with the set and due to the shallow stage, there wasn’t much light coming from behind to separate the actors from the background. It was 100% evocative of a music hall, but for taking photos it made things a little flat.