ZHAO BUSINESS: THE ORPHAN DIARIES OF BD WONG
FIRST DAY IN THE THEATER (FRIDAY, MAY 30) PART 2
A WEEK THREE-STORIES UP
Photo by Julius Ahn
This is not a generally common practice in my experience—the one place I remember reading about this happening was in Ted Chapin’s book about the making of the legendary musical Follies, directed by Hal Prince: lots of old gals in the shop wobbling around in heels on a slanted floor that the famous Broadway set designer Boris Aronson rightfully found visually arresting, but it was not particularly practical. Security and comfort are crucial for actors to give confident performances, as is safety. A good friend who recently performed on a multi-level set in an off-Broadway musical endured several minor injuries and an ongoing sense of trepidation and mistrust of management because the actors were not properly introduced to the challenging scenery and its various elements—this can cause discomfort, fear, and inhibit someone’s performance.
|Phil Estrera and Jessica Ivry|
Photo by BD WONG
After nearly a full week in the scene shop (which was not without compromise—dear Sab Shimono has a severe dust allergy and could not continue rehearsing at the shop, so he rehearsed separately back at “base camp” by running some of his more difficult speeches for memorization with an A.C.T. intern and then joined us later), we went back to the 30 Grant rehearsal room for fine tuning on the one-level structure. Yes, Dick Daley and his diligent stage management team moved all of the props and personal items back to the rehearsal room, like the shoemaker’s elves did.
To learn more about A.C.T.'s production of The Orphan of Zhao and to buy tickets visit act-sf.org/orphan.