Photos taken by Stage Manager Claire Nadeau and Production Intern Molly Leahy.
Laura Leffler-McCabe, Carl Atiya Swanson, Emily Dussault, Adam Scarpello, Tamara Titsworth, Ben Egerman, Kathryn Fumie, Paul Rutledge, Lindsey Cacich, Cody Stewart, Claire Nadeau (stage manager), Bryan Grosso, Jami Jerome, Russ Dugger, Hannah Holman. In front: Bob Hammil
Cody Stewart, Russ Dugger, Andrew Young, Mason Mahoney, Zachary Schaeffer
Clockwise from left, Jami Jerome, Cody Stewart, Kris Ness, Paul Rutledge, Russ Dugger, Emily Chang
Back, Bryan Grosso, Emily Dussault, Jami Jerome, Kris Ness, Paul Rutledge. Front, Emily Chang, Russ Dugger. Standing, Scott Keely
Adam Scarpello, Emily Dussault
This week’s Ravagers post includes another sneak peek from Sonya Berlovitz’s sketch book, with comments from Christina Lien (SU Company Member and Ravagers Costume Assistant).
Costumes, costumes, costumes… stitching, stitching, stitching… My artistic past is glittered with dressing, building, stitching, and costuming large-scale productions, but I have not dove into this area of design and construction with SU for a while. Currently, I am one of four stitchers working under the beautiful and talented Sonya Berlovitz constructing the costumes for Ravagers. The cast is on the larger side of things and the task of costuming the show sometimes makes me catch my breath and raise my eyebrows.
I love donning my sewing and stitching hat and all is well in my corner of the world as I construct nine dresses for nine (very tall) men, who in addition to playing sons of Aegyptus, play daughters of Danaus at moments.
All the sister's dresses - all 19 of them! - will look exactly the same. They'll be hand painted by Sonya, and like Danaus's costume (that was posted here last week), the colors are meant to reflect the desert where they live.
Unlike the sisters, who are supposed to act identically, each of the brothers is allowed to be an individual. So the men will have the same basic silhouette, but their pieces will vary slightly to show that individuality. Their colors will be greys, greens, and blues to reflect their more fertile home land.
I’m tapping into skills I haven’t exercised at this capacity in a while. It’s always super exciting to be working on a new show, but even more brilliant to be part of a specific production crew with amazing new people, including creative and talented designers.
Tickets are now on sale for The Ravagers, opening at the Hollywood Theater in Northeast Minneapolis on November 4th.
This week's post features two of the costume sketches for the show from renowned costume designer Sonya Berlovitz and background on the characters of Danaus and Aegyptus by director Blake E. Bolan.
The Ravagers's plot may revolve around the fifty daughters and fifty sons, but at its heart, it's very much a play about the two brothers who are the fathers: Danaus, father of the daughters, and Aegyptus, father of the sons. And that story works on two levels.
It's easy to see all the trappings of a familiar story about patriarchal monarchies. The younger son feels jealousy toward his elder brother. Aegyptus has the sons, Aegyptus has the better land, and after the kingdom is reunited by the marriages, Aegyptus's sons stand to inherit all of Danaus's land. It's easy to get caught up in the plot. But the more compelling story is the metaphors of these two men. Who is East and who is West? Dictator and king? Capitalism and communism? Who is right and who is wrong?
Starting with simple suit as the base for Aegyptus and Danaus, Sonya highlight's each man's temperament in their outerwear. Here, we see the soft lines of Aegyptus's wrap, alluding to comfort, ease, and luxury. He's affluent, proud, and happy.
For Danaus, Sonya has created sharp angles for his overcoat and tie, implying a certain starkness. His clothes are more utilitarian than his brother's, as he is a man with fewer resources, as well as a much more stringent attitude. Danaus is a man concerned with power, not likely to relax for even a moment. You will also notice here the brown hues in Danaus's outerwear - Danaus raises his 50 daughters in the desert, and these colors reflect the tones of sandy soil you might find surrounding his home.
Come see Scott Keely (Danaus) and Bob Hammel (Aegyptus) wear these costumes and tell this story, Nov. 4-19 at the Hollywood Theatre. Tickes are on sale now!
We're knee-deep in rehearsals for The Ravagers right now at Savage Umbrella, but we've got more than one pot on the stove. Here we provide a first sneak-peek into our winter workshop of Rain Follows the Plow by company member Rachel Nelson.
A brief synopsis of what will be written:
We circulate between two times: the present day and the depths of the Dust Bowl. Clarence is the host of an 1930s radio show that broadcasts to much of western Texas. As times worsen and the dust thickens, he tries to rally his listeners around ideas of anti-immigration and manifest destiny. His wife struggles to reconcile these ideas with her fractured understanding of her marriage, her country, and her sense of reality. Meanwhile, a young woman named Clara who lost her family farm to a river being dammed in California decides to take back what she sees as hers, and blow up the dam. She camps out on top of the dam overnight, waiting for a stranger who has promised to deliver her a bomb. Her suburban poet boyfriend is with her, waxing esoteric in all the wrong ways. As the night wears on in the current moment and the dust obscures the past, all of these characters find themselves struggling with where they come from and who they are, and what it means to finally manifest their destinies.
Clarence: An incredible idealist about America to the point of delusion. Deeply believes it is the chosen land and we are the chosen people. Struggles with something confusing with his feelings for his wife; maybe he should have been with another person from his past, maybe there is no bride that can stand up to Lady Liberty. We are excited to have Peter Middlecamp in this role for the workshop presentation.
Ingrid: A strong and intricate woman, Ingrid believes deeply in community. A caretaker. Her emotions/memories speak to her. Sometimes quite literally. She is a woman of great faith, but not necessarily in her country or in her husband. The beautiful and talented Eve Tugwell will develop this role for the workshop presentation.
Clara: A young woman looking for some sense of meaning in the loss of her family home. Jack annoys her. She’s fond of him. She is restless and needs a purpose. Addie Phelps adds her powerful chops to this role for the workshop presentation.
Jack: Goofy and endearing, Jack believes deeply in experiencing everything to the the fullest. He is a bit of a hedonist, and fresh from a strictly suburban upbringing, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to get a little outlawish. We're thrilled to welcome Seth Conover to play this role in the workshop presentation.
The Catalyst: We have lots of ideas of where this character is headed, and Savage Umbrella's own Amber Davis will help us to develop this character - maybe with puppets!
Mark your calendars now to join us March 9 & 10, 2012 at The Playwrights' Center for the workshop presentation of Rain Follows the Plow!