We now have a performance space settled for our production at the Watch City Steampunk Festival!
The Festival will be centered around Waltham Commons and the nearby blocks of Moody Street, which make up an important center of activity in town. Our shows will be going up at the Center for Digital Arts, the education institution at 274 Moody devoted to 3D animation, audio production, filmmaking, graphic design, photography, and web development. We will have use of the sizable back room, which is used for the development of all manner of visual art projects.
This space is very different than the one we performed in at Arisia 2015. Each one, due to its design, had its own advantages and disadvantages. Arisia takes place in the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel, which meant we were given a function hall with a raised stage meant to be disassembled when not in use. The elevation above the audience was good for the sight lines, but made entrances and exits more difficult because of the need for the step up. Also, we were inflexibly limited by the dimensions of that stage, which at twelve by sixteen feet were pretty damn tight. Our fairly sizable set took up a chunk of that, meaning the action had to stay very compact, making the moments like the fight scene a challenge.
The CDA, first of all, has the distinct advantage for me of being in Waltham. That will make it so much easier and cheaper to transport pieces to the space, as it’s a much shorter trip from where I live. There we will be on a lovely wood floor the ability to spread out the “stage space” if we need to. This makes the blocking considerably easier, and we’ll still have plenty of room for audience chairs. The room will hold fewer people than the functional hall in the hotel, but not by too much, and this time around we’ll have two shows. Likely we’ll be able to seat even more people in total! I would love to have an even bigger audience this time around.
At Arisia, they also provided large curtains to create wing space on either side, which proved surprisingly ample. This time around, however, I’m not sure if our space will be able to provide anything like that. If that’s the case, we’ll have to figure out a way to get them ourselves. That could get expensive, and though many expenses of the last production won’t need to be repeated this time around, I’m concerned it will be made up by new costs like having to get curtains.
The trick, as always, is to embrace the features and limitations of any space you’re in. We’ve done it once, and we’ll do it again. Particularly since this space is lovely in so many ways, and will make many aspects of productions so much easier. I’m excited to take advantage of them!
Mrs. Hawking by Phoebe Roberts will be performed on Saturday, May 9th at 2PM and 6PM at the Center for Digital Arts at 274 Moody Street, Waltham as part of the 2015 Watch City Steampunk Festival.