Tuesday, January 4, 2011

See You At Auditions!

Auditions for "Eurydice", the Theater Department's Winter mainstage, are coming up! Not sure if you want to audition? Wondering what it will be like? See what people who have been in past mainstages have to say about the audition process!

"I remember sprinting across the green from another audition to be, what was it, two hours late to the Two Gents audition? I was so worried about being late and unprepared and rushed but then all I had to do was read a monologue (maybe one of Julia's?). And then Peter and I talked about martial arts. It was great!"-- Blaine Johnson '13, Lance's Love in Two Gentlemen of Verona

"What I wear to auditions is essential. I want to be comfortable but still look good; stand out, but not too much; casual witout trying, but look like you care. Quite the dilemma. So before I auditioned for 'Two Gents' I finally decided on a purple dress. It complimented my skin tone, made me appear pretty/delicate but still had a pop in its design (like a piece of my own personality in the clothes). I was set. I was going to walk in confidently, blow them away with my audition, and be remembered for my awesome purple dress....I walked in for the audition and every girl in the room wore dark purple.
Better luck next time."-- Olivia Baptista '12, Lucetta in Two Gentlemen of Verona

"It was fun working with other people during auditions, most of whom I had never seen before let alone acted with. In fact, I think the main reason I do Dartmouth Theater is because of the friends I'm going to have fun with and get to work with in and out of rehearsal. These relationships often start during the auditions process with introductions or even an awkward joke."-- Neil Basu '11, Speed in Two Gentlemen of Verona

"Doing a mainstage production at this school has been one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had at Dartmouth. The atmosphere is very professional and productive. I would highly recommend auditioning to anyone!"-- Sterling Beard '12, Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona

"My favorite part about mainstage auditions is actually the waiting. Between twenty and thirty people are lolled all around the Bentley Lobby for several hours, chatting and reading audition excerpts. You get pretty tired and punchy by the end of it, but it's a great way to get to know new people or bond with friends you already have. It doesn't take long before everyone is swapping jokes and laughing together."-- Jay Ben Markson '10, Brad in The Rocky Horror Show

Auditions are Thursday, January 6 from 7 PM - 9:30 PM and Friday, January 7 from 7 PM - 8 PM (Callbacks from 8 PM - 10 PM.) Sign up sheets are in Shakespeare Alley!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Playing Dress-Up

Lauren Glover '11 talks about her experiences working in the costume shop and behind the scenes on mainstage productions.

I started working in the Theatre Department's Costume Shop during my freshman fall. I had originally gone to the department's open meeting for first-year students in hopes of an audition. I walked out with a work-study position.
Before I came to Dartmouth, I was able to quilt and do basic mending of hems. Upon starting work in the Costume Shop, I was taught how to construct clothing based on its fabric type, how to tailor clothing to the body and how to quick-change (dressing actors and changing them from one full-costume to another - usually in less than a minute).
The first show thatI dressed was Hair. The sheer amount and color of the costumes made the Costume Shop and Stock look magical and otherworldly.  Although, it took quite a while to regain feeling in my fingers after sewing fringe. Since then, I've sewn, tailored and dressed for Julius Ceasar, Stop Kiss, and Rocky Horror. I've also done some costume design for The Black Underground Theater Association.
As a senior, I've recently finished working on Two Gents. The environment is quite fun because of my relationship with the actors; most of them tease me, saying that I've yet to dress them or that I've dressed them for every show that they've been a part of.
Alhough most of my time in the Costume Shop now is spent training new dressers or showing my friends how to mend a coat button (real-life skills!), I still see the Costume Shop as something of a sanctuary away from campus for me. There are days when I show up and sort buttons or hem pants simply because it's mindless and allows me to sort through my thoughts if I'm feeling overwhelmed.
Why get paid to do homework with a library job when you can get paid to play dress-up?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meet Launce and Mystic

Stephen Jangro '11 talks about developing a relationship with his acting partner... Mystic the dog!

Well, there are only two weeks left until the opening of the show, and if it had not kicked into full gear already, it certainly has now. Everyone is starting to have more fun and make bolder decisions with their characters as the need to think about lines fades away. Certainly for myself, this is very true as I am now beginning to discover new habits and inner-workings of my character, Launce, as I explore the character and begin to work with a dog named Mystic, playing Crab. First off Launce, was THE role I wanted to play in this show, and I have been more than fortunate to get it. Learning that I had to work with a real dog on stage was no shock as this was mentioned to me in the casting process, but it wasn’t until I got the character that it sunk in, and the ever-common phrase, “never work with children or animals on stage”, hit me. I was a little worried a first, and may still be, but Mystic has been fantastic to work with so far. We have not yet incorporated her into the full rehearsals yet, but I try to spend at least 15 minutes with her when she is at the theater, and have run my lines with her. She is fantastic, and although we have no clue what she will be like when introduced to a full audience, she has been very calm and more then cooperative on stage. The real question in using her on stage is with the ever-present fact, that she is missing one of her front legs. Initially there was fear that the audience might not find her appropriate to use on stage and that she would look too pitiful. All of us certainly did not want to put her in any discomfort for our own satisfaction in the show. My fears, and I believe everyone else’s, were calmed though, when we first met her. She is a beautiful, old dog, yet has the spirit and energy of a puppy. She is extremely friendly and has no problem with moving about. In fact, she is so strong she pulls me about quite often when I take her outside. Loyalty is not an issue with her, and she listens to commands fairly well. I look forward to working with her in the show as the final product slowly takes shape.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


 Lillian Wilson '12 writes about her experiences starring in a Dartmouth Mainstage Production. Her first time trying out for a Mainstage, she was cast as Sylvia, one of the leads in Two Gentlemen of Verona!

Working on Two Gentlemen of Verona has been an incredible experience. I was nervous about what being in a main stage show would be like, but the process has been so much fun every step of the way.

Auditions were not scary at all. I was sweating and biting my nails in the hall outside, but as soon as I stepped in Peter, the director, made the next ten minutes fun and easy. When I found out I got a part I was ecstatic, I missed my 11 because I was calling mom, grandparents, aunts, friends etc. I couldn’t believe it!

First night of rehearsal the entire cast of 28 was called to hear the vision for how the show would look. Verona would be Dartmouth and Milan would be a Dr. Seuss inspired magical world. We ooooed and awed over sketches for the costumes and sets and cheered when Peter told us he was turning the play into a rock musical and had already hired a band.

Next step was table work. We went scene-by-scene and really dug into the text. We laughed about seemingly non-sensical parts of the dialogue and brainstormed ways to make them work with the rest of the show. We wanted every scene to reach its maximum potential.

Soon we moved onto the stage. Standing on Moore for the first time and looking out into the audience was a bit intimidating, but before long the space began to feel comfortable and exciting. We again went slowly scene-by-scene, trying out every different action until the blocking matched our other work on attention to detail. Professor Rice would join us on occasion and the cast would step back from the show and work on technical issues such as breathing, and delivery. Professor Rice is hysterical so the lessons were just as entertaining as they were helpful.

Outside of rehearsal I was called into the costume shop on occasion to be fitted. The place is overflowing with incredible fabrics and hats and shoes and dresses. It was very interesting to watch my costume morph from a picture, to a muslin pattern, to an incredible silk and velvet gown.

Currently we are going through and rerunning and tweaking act by act. The scenery is slowly being built around us and the fantastic props are popping up everywhere. The show has been so high energy, there was a week when literally everyone was sick but rehearsal was still fun and productive. We are all very enthusiastic about the performance and can’t wait to share our work with the rest of campus!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Welcome to the official blog of the Dartmouth Theater Department! Over the course of the term, Dartmouth students will be keeping you updated on what they are doing in department shows and giving you a peak at what goes on behind the scenes on Mainstage Productions.

This term the Theater Department will be presenting William Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona"-- the production will be set at Dartmouth College and feature shadow puppets, pizza and a live band!

Stay tuned for updates from folks working both on stage and behind the scenes on this exciting project!