Overture: The First Week: 2/18/2024

Alex H -

This week, my senior project saw a lot of exciting developments. Ms. Giles and Mr. Ray encouraged me to look for stories from my life that showcase my neurodivergence and find shows to research. One such show that I watched was Mike Birbiglia’s The Old Man and the Pool. In the show, Birbiglia discusses various events in his life, including trying to “audition” for swimming lessons and attempting to come to terms with the fact that he was in poor health. Watching the show gave me several ideas, chief among them trying to frame the stories that I tell around a chief theme, such as self-awareness. I have also been continuing to practice my performance skills by participating in BASIS’S production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. (I play the Beast.)

The first week of my internship working with Places! Productions has wrapped up. I was able to become more acquainted with the show’s director and president of the company, Alison Zuccaro. She and the cast were very welcoming. My duties include performing the stage manager role for the production. The first rehearsal that I attended happened last Monday at their rehearsal space in Mesa. Right now, they are preparing for a production of the musical Urinetown. The show is double cast with both a teen and an adult cast.  You may recognize some familiar BASIS faces among the performers.

Group of people pointing in a gym
This cast is amazing!

I observed as the performers blocked a musical number and took notes on the blocking. The next rehearsal was a general overview of everything that the company had blocked and rehearsed thus far. At this rehearsal, I served as a stand in for the role of Officer Lockstock, which is typically performed by my faculty advisor, Mr. Ray, who was out of town. Saturday’s work involved two projects: assisting with the unloading of props and set pieces from their warehouse in the morning, and the rehearsal of a new musical number in the evening.

Man with binder in gym
Taking copious notes at my first rehearsal.

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