Knox College Repertory Theatre Term XV

February 12, 2010

Hard Work and Play

Filed under: Abby Harms — Abby @ 5:57 pm

Exhaustion. That is what I feel at this moment. I’ve spent the last three hours in the catwalks hooking up lights, which isn’t hard at all, but hurts your back after a while of hunching over and walking. I also feel productive with how many lights we got hooked up, but we ran out of cable and had to leave ten lights behind.

We’ve also started full stumble throughs for both shows, meaning all of us have to be at the four hour rehearsals the entire time. We are all starting to feel the exhaustion more and more, and come tech week it will only intensify. Don’t get me wrong, the process is still fun and both of the shows are shaping up very well! We just need to prepare ourselves for the coming weeks if we thought this week was hard. It feels wonderful when our hard work is paying off so well.

I am also now helping create the lobby display for the performances and we have a lot of great ideas to work with from class. We want to make wing shaped structures with headlines from newspapers in the 1980’s to accompany the other information and make the display more interesting. We’ve also heard many other ideas, but we just need to figure out what we have time to do at this point. But I am determined to make it marvelous!

Classes have been really fun this week. We did a lot of Laban movement corresponding to our lines in Voice class and contact improv in Movement. The Laban work was extremely helpful for finding out nuances in our characters and contact improv included a lot of rolling on people and flipping over their backs. I bet everyone else at Knox College is jealous of our class material!

February 5, 2010

Don’t think our show is scientific? Well, it is.

Filed under: Abby Harms — Abby @ 3:09 pm

It’s already Friday again and the fact that this term is going faster than any I’ve ever encountered is scary, to be frank.  After this term, I have one more before I graduate and the fact that I still haven’t decided precisely where I’m going when I leave is starting to dawn on me.  I know I’m spending a summer in the Middle East again, but I’m not sure whether I want to come back and live in Chicago and begin my theatre career or live in Jerusalem for a while.  Up until my senior year, I had my life planned.  Now it is all of the sudden in disarray.  I also had a senior moment the other day when one of our company members said something funny, and I laughed and thought about how much I am going to miss all of these people.  This group is becoming very close-knit as our work continues to grow.  I knew and spent time with most of these people in years before, but never in such conditions or cooperation.  They have an invaluable place now in my life.

Back to my work in Rep Term, however.  Today I distressed clothes for the folks playing homeless women whom I share a scene with, and let me tell you in advance that they play this part wonderfully!  The scene is quite hysterical and creepy.

Half an hour of crew yesterday was devoted to learning how to smoke cigarettes for my character.  Now I walk around with one all the time to get used to holding it and people look at me strangely.

I also helped write letters to the heads of different departments here at Knox to convince them our show would be interesting for them.  We generated a list of points from the show we could spin to relate it to subjects such as Classics and Biochemistry.  It was quite a difficult endeavour, but I think we accomplished this very well!  We told the Biochemistry department about the fact that AIDS and its scientific cause (HIV) was widely unknown in the 1980s and they should come see the effects of this on society.  How clever!

January 29, 2010


Filed under: Abby Harms — Abby @ 3:40 pm

Spending life in CFA started to drain me this week.  Instead of waking up and going to the gym like I usually do, this week when I woke up my body just demanded more sleep.  I slept almost eleven hours on Tuesday night because I went to bed early from exhaustion and woke up much later than I planned.  At first, I was quite angry about this because I had a lot of work to get done, but in hindsight I am extremely grateful for listening to my body’s plea.  Many people in the company have been sick this week, and I think the reason I managed to avoid its spread was by resting my immune system so thoroughly.  It is easy to forget that waking up shouldn’t be a chore.  Your body knows what it wants and sometimes you just have to give in.  I managed to get my work done this week with proper time management, and that is an essential skill in Rep Term.  I didn’t even have to go to bed at two in the morning, as I have accustomed myself to in the past three and a half years!  That and I just don’t have the energy to stay up that long when I am working all day.  I feel quite refreshed after a week of full sleep.

This week I have been working with Aisha on cutting pieces for the period style jacket that Shane will be wearing for Prior Prior 2.  It is a Tartuffe-esque coat and in fact is being cut from the same pattern he used for that show!  I have found that laying out pattern pieces and pinning them takes a lot of patience.  It isn’t the most interesting job, but I’m sure the finished product will be lovely.  I have also finally started regular rehearsals for Hannah, and it is a rewarding experience working on such a complex character as she.  I cannot wait to progress these next two weeks before tech finally hits!  Fifth week, here we come!

As a closing note, I found this lovely video made by the LDS Church during my research.  It’s quite witty.

January 22, 2010

Inner Peace?

Filed under: Abby Harms — Abby @ 8:02 pm

“Love is an action.  It is wanting to do something for someone else.”

This is what one of the members of the Latter Day Saints Church said when asked if they had ever been in love.  I found this idea very interesting.  I agree somewhat, but I still believe actual love (as in being in love) is an entirely different kind of emotion.  I can see this idea of love relating more to family and friendships.  There is a definite difference between doing something for someone and wanting to do it for them.  Whether this young man believes that true love feels this way, I do not know.  Maybe he never has been in love.  I unfortunately was working at the Gizmo at the time of our meeting with them, so I was not in person for this encounter.  Everything I heard about it (and it seems like it went extremely well) was from Nellie’s information.  Nellie also described these men as having an inner peace.  They described how it was hard to keep up the lifestyle required of them, but at the end of the day it was worth it for how at peace they felt with themselves.  They were truly comfortable with their religion and beliefs.  This was refreshing in a way because all of the LDS Church members I have known personally do not seem to be this way.  Hannah, the character I am playing is a member of this Church and she definitely does not have peace with herself.  She tries to attain it, but she can’t.  She was raised as a Mormon and does not know any other way to try.  Even she cannot meet the all the requirements of the LDS Church, though she’d like to believe she is.  The peace these men acquired through the LDS Church apparently just goes to show that one religion can be perfect for one person but completely unfitting for another.  Everyone has different spiritual needs.

I love Rep Term and all of its discoveries!  That said, I can’t believe it’s already Friday again!  This week went by ridiculously fast and it will only get faster from here on out!

January 15, 2010

The Group of First-Year Suitemates

Filed under: Abby Harms — Abby @ 3:37 pm

Abby HarmsHi, my name is Abby Harms and I am a senior Theatre major.  I am working on Publicity crew and costume crew in addition to playing Hannah in Millennium Approaches and the continental principality of Asiatica in Perestroika.
The end of week 2 is already here!  At the same time that it is going ridiculously fast, it also seems we have been here for much longer.  My experience so far has been thrilling!  I am in CFA for most of the day, but I love what I am doing.  Everyone here gets along very well also, which is a huge plus!  We even have lunch and dinner together and we are a recognizable crowd in the caf, just like a group of first-year suitemates, as Kristen cleverly pointed out!

Publicity crew has gotten my creative juices flowing, and we just picked some wonderful taglines for posters last week.  I am excited to see how people react to them!  We already have our genius prototypes for our final show posters, and in addition Carla and I are in charge of the Facebook fan page and Twitter.  Keep checking those sites for updates!  Our most recent development is that we will have a booth at the I-Fair for Angels in America, discussing the stereotypes challenged in the plays.
I am currently working on mastering an Indian accent for my principality role.  For some odd reason, people find it very hard to take me seriously when I talk this way.  This may have something to do with the fact that I look the complete opposite of Indian.  And with everyone walking around practicing their different dialects, it becomes even harder to maintain!  For Hannah, I have been researching The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I even went to a website that is going to send me a free Book of Mormon! Nellie (who is playing Hannah in Perestroika) also was in contact with some missionaries that are going to talk to us more in depth about the religion and culture.  I hope it will be an eye-opening experience!