These kids are the reason that the Pacific Northwest is a hotbed of theater activity and talent. Time after time, Briane and George Green from UHigh Drama have produced theatrical gems and 'Evita' is yet another. They are superb administrators and leaders but without the high-calibre of students they lead, the shows wouldn't be as wonderful as they are. 'Evita' is the fifth UHigh show that I've shot and though the first of them was already stellar, they seem to be getting better and better!
I've written a little bit about theater photography HERE, but I didn't quite express how difficult an archive shoot can be. For the still images, we have all the conditions that exist in a show: props, sets, lighting cues, wardrobe and wardrobe changes and we have to have all the right people in the right place in the right time. You'd think that if we run the shoot in the order of the show, it shouldn't be so much of an effort, right?
Well, I've never done one where you go in the order of the show and there are many reasons for that. If you want to dismiss some folks early, you get their shots done first. If your leads are in a certain costume at various time, you get all of those scenes together ... regardless of whether the scenes are contiguous or not. For this day's captures, as we were shooting directly after the school day ended, we had folks straggling in at various time because of their school needs or that their school was across town. We had middle schoolers and even younger kids in the cast so we had to wrangle them all from their various schools.
Being part of the show and running it out of order is VERY taxing. Has anyone ever asked you what comes after (for instance) the letter K? What do you do? Most folks, me included, have to sing The Alphabet Song in our heads until we reach the letter we need. Our brains don't memorize things just for the sake of committing them to memory. If we have habits and systems in place, like The Alphabet Song or the blocking/scene order of a show, we don't don't always need to memorize the order of things. We start the first thing and the rest flows behind it.
When the director or stage manager is calling out the shots to be taken and which ones are coming next, they're rarely in the order the show is run and every time, I mean it ... EVERY time, actors forget which prop they should have, light board operators get into the wrong cue, and actors forget where to stand when they are saying the lines from the scene to be caught. It can be absolute chaos getting from one shot to the next. It's always stressful to the cast and occasionally frustrating to everyone, we always get the shots we need and it's always amusing in hindsight.
I always try to keep in mind that these folks are giving up more of their free time in order to help create these images, so I'm very grateful for their patience and effort.
This may be the last time that I get to see a few of these folks on a stage again. Many of these folks are seniors and will be moving on in life. Perhaps even off the stage and onto other endeavors. I know for a fact that a few will be in productions for my home theater (they're THAT good) and , who knows! Some may end up on even bigger stages in bigger towns!
Congratulations to the cast and crew of University High School's 'Evita' on their spectacular show!