October 5, 2014

Final show of Dr. Dolittle happened this afternoon, fifth performance. We spent almost everyday of our last month at this theater. The John Lumber Center for the Performing arts at the College of Lake County are home away from home. It became an incredible adventure for Arianna. As I reflect on her journey from auditioning to showtime, I am in awe of how much learning happened just by being a part of life. For one, Arianna read the book Dr. Dolittle, a known classic that would never have been on her radar before this show. She compared the book to the screen play. She understood the characters. She learned the language of England english as compared to American english. She also witnessed day to day set building. She literally watched as each day the set went from a vision Director Tom described to a cloth with painted trees to a hanging curtain with three layers. She watch the transformation of stool become rock and a cart become a living room on wheels that spins around into circus tents. She learned about the lighting and music prompts that make the show flow from one scene to the next. She also learned about the job of the stage manager, and the backstage crew that communicates details to each other and the assistant director through a headset. She now has a deep realization that without these devoted people live theater could never be.  She loved seeing how the costume designers measured and made clothes to fit, and was fascinated by the animal masks created. She learned how much we need audiences to pretend with us by moving like the animals we portray on the stage. How their laughter feeds performers, and how sometimes crowd members yell out inappropriately.

Arianna also had to be part of the “meet and greet” the college shows do with the audience. This is a bit out of her comfort zone, but she did it with elegance and grace. That is a lot of learning! No lesson plan needed for it all happened without a script. From audition to final bow, she absorbed lessons from the stage, for “All the world is a stage...”