Ink Diaries: Screens, Screens and More Screens

We’ve reached that point in rehearsals. Scenes are being strung together into acts which will eventually be strung together as a play. We’re two weeks away from technical rehearsals and the story we’re telling with our staging of James Graham’s play Ink is coming into shape nicely. We’re still in the rehearsal room for another week and by the time we leave it, the actors will be telling a tight story.

And then we’ll tear it all apart in technical rehearsals. Those technical elements of our story-telling are coming more into focus in the little theatre in my mind as I watch the actors put chunks of the show together. But they have to get out of my mind, into the designers’ and then onto the stage. Clear communication and direction is the key.

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Lighting, music, and in this show a voluminous series of projections that will play on multiple screens on the stage offer a full menu. It’s one thing to visualize them as pieces of the puzzle in the little theatre in my mind and discussions around the production table.  it’s another to begin charting them out as assets for discussions with the designers so they can go and build those assets.

Over the years my toolkit is always evolving and changing as technology advances, always offering new options (and the opportunites to play with new toys.) For my prep work to flow on this show I am using several screens to keep track of spreadsheets, notes and of course the script as I chart out the assets cue to cue.

Back in my digs the M2 Macbook Air is the anchor. Hanging off it is an ESR Portable Kickstand Monitor. Sitting adjacent is an 11 inch iPad Pro with the script, sometimes connected via Universal Control depending on the work I’m doing.

When it’s time for rehearsal the iPad Pro becomes the anchor and travels with, bringing it all back home for the next prep session. For someone who loves both the making of live theatre and playing with gadgets it’s a dream world.

Author: Warner Crocker

I stumble through life as a theatre director and playwright as well as a gadget geek...commenting along the way. Every day I learn something new is a good day, so I share what I find exciting, new, stupid and often worthwhile.

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