The Bacchae

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The Bacchae
Bacchae.jpg
Summary
Dates
4th & 5th November
Performance Course
Third Year BA Acting
Location
New Atheneum Theatre
Creative Team
Director
Finn Den Hertog
Assistant Director
Speir
Designer
Melania Cwynar
Movement Director
Vicki Manderson
Sound Designer
Lighting Designer
Production Team
Stage Manager
Deputy Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Stage Supervisor
Head of Flys
Deputy Technical Stage Manager
Deputy Technical Stage Manager
Production Electrician
Deputy Production Electrician
LX Programmer
Lighting Crew
Production Sound Engineer
Sound No.2


Overview

The Bacchae is an ancient Greek tragedy, written by Euripides. The tragedy is based on the Greek myth of Prince Pentheus of Thebes and his mother Agave, and their punishment by the god Dionysos. The god Dionysos appears at the beginning of the play and proclaims that he has arrived in Thebes to avenge the slander, which has been repeated by his aunts, that he is not the son of Zeus. In response, he intends to introduce Dionysian rites into the city, and he intends to demonstrate to the king, Pentheus, and to Thebes that he was indeed born a god. At the end of the play, Pentheus is torn apart by the women of Thebes and his mother Agave bears his head to her father Kadmos.

Cast

Dionysos - Eddie Boyce
Dionysos - Ellinor Larsson
Dionysos - Oat Jenner
Pentheus - Gabriel Floyd
Agave - Maria Laird
Kadmos - Jaden Baker
Tiresias - Joséphine Callies
First Messenger / Bakkhai - John McGeachie
Second Messenger / Bakkhai - Westley Strausman
Armed Man / Bakkhai - Yolanda Mitchell
Bakkhai - Hannah Brennan
Bakkhai - Sylvie Marinkovic

Stage Management

File:Initial Props List Bacchae.xlsx

File:Blood Notes - Eve.pdf

File:Props Tracking List.xlsx

The stage management for this show produced new challenges under the current Covid climate, actors had to consistently social distance during rehearsals and contact with props had to remain limited. To combat this several inventive solutions had to be found. 2-metre markings were placed within the rehearsal rooms so the actors could be conscious of their spacing, on top of this hand sanitizer and wipes were placed around to allow cleaning in between scenes. The air circulation was kept clear by opening the door during breaks and props were only allowed to be touched by the actor using them.

Rehearsal Room and Covid

Rehearsal Occupancy
One of the main challenges in this new way of working, as a result of the pandemic, was occupancy levels. The building as a whole was assigned a maximum occupancy number as was each individual room based on a two/three meeter distancing. The occupancy rating for RS1 was 18 people. Pre Covid, creatives and production team alike could drop into the rehearsal room at any time to talk to the director, to drop off props or to watch the rehearsal or the run, but because of the maximum occupancy levels and for track and trace purposes this was no longer possible. I created a Rehearsal Occupancy document that stated the names and total number of people that were in the rehearsal room at any one time. It was essential that this was done the day before so that everyone who were supposed to be in rehearsals the following day was granted access on Asimut. As the DSM I created and oversaw the rehearsal occupancy.

Streaming Rehearsals
Because of the limited occupancy levels a decision was made to stream rehearsals via Zoom. We had a designated laptop, TV/monitor and sound equipment in order to get the best quality possible. This was initially set up as a contingency in case any of the actors had to self isolate to make sure they could still be part of rehearsals and for the Assistant Director to join rehearsals virtually from Canada. It evolved to become a drop in for creatives and crew as well as I always kept the stream live. The Zoom ID and passcode could be found on the call sheet. Production meetings and drop in sessions were also held virtually with the director and myself as the DSM in the rehearsal room. This also allowed run throughs to recorded and watched by anyone from the crew who wanted or needed to.

Social Distancing
A two meter grid system was implemented and marked on the rehearsal room floor to make it easier to adhere to social distancing. Each cast member was assigned their own chair, clearly marked with their name, and was placed along the sides of the room at a two meeter distance, this was marked by a red X on the floor. By the very nature of creating theatre, rehearsing, devising, movement and voice work, social distancing was sometimes challenging to adhere to strictly, in the instances where they might accidentally be closer than two meters, such as when working on movement, or projecting during voice work, all cast members were required to wear a mask.

Line cuts

For ease, I created a detailed breakdown of the cut lines, scene, page number and character and distributed it to the whole production team. This was accompanied by a digital version of the script with the cuts indicated by a red line across the relevant lines.

Technical Stage Department

Flys and Automation

There were 2 main flying elements to this show. The first one being the splitting set piece and the second one being the multiple petal drops in the show.


Splitting Set

For the splitting set piece we used two of the Big Tow Motors. The piece was made up of a 16 x 5 border (108) and plywood covered in black serge. These were both rigged to a 13m span of truss. The Border was tied to the top run of the truss whilst the ply had a hanging iron with a (in order of connection) 1T shackle, turnbuckle, 1T shackle, 4m drift, 1T shackle, double choked 1/2m sling on bottom run of the truss. There was also a static bottom section to the splitting set made of Hard maskers on the bottom side and plywood on top of the hard maskers covered in black serge. During the show the set piece had a simple move of going from its in dead to its out dead over 67 Seconds.

https://youtu.be/x8b0qWoZIZo


Petal Drop

The Director wanted the petal drop to cover the whole stage and in order to achieve this we used two drop bags; one further down stage and one further up stage so that the drop would cover the whole stage. We made the two drop bags out of some spare material in the dock the were both 11m long and had cuts made every 30cm in the bottom 1/3 along the full 11m. These cuts are what allowed the petals to drop during the sequence. They were each tied across two bars, loaded with petals, then flown out to their out dead. The drops were operated by moving one of the bars in and out. The speed at which the bar was moved and the length of it was adjusted prior to performance for both affected how many petals would be dropped.

https://youtu.be/SXzZlwDrhw8

Fly Plot

Points Plan

Points Master


Set

The set for this production consisted of six steel frame periaktois positioned on different parts of the stage. The shortest of these towers were positioned downstage and they were able to move about the stage on their own. We made this happen by using PTFE sliders on the apexes of the towers. The tallest of the towers were positioned upstage and were static. The last two towers were attached to the floor by an scaf pole which acted as an external pivoting point; these towers also moved around its pivoting point by using PTFE sliders. Since the 3M scaf pole that we used went through the stage floor and into the pit, we replaced the stage floor and the panels with trap infils with flange bearings on either side. This made the pivoting possible whilst providing a secure point for the towers to rotate around. Since the actors were climbing the towers using the ladders on the steel frames, there were several health & safety issues that needed to be resolved including preventing the tower from becoming top heavy when the performer climbed it, causing it to tip. For the downstage and midstage towers, we added extra weight to the bottom of the towers in between the top wooden base and the bottom of the steel frame. We used a combination of flyweights and sandbags to do this. The upstage towers utilized external bracing that was bolted into the floor.

Sound

Plans

PSE Cable Runs

File:Bacchae PSE Cable Runs v2021.pdf

Equipment Used

control

1 x Midas Pro 6 Sound Console

2 x Midas DL251 Stage Boxes (1 in control room, 1 in void)

1 x MacBook Pro (running QLab)

1 x Focusrite Pro 40 Interface


Speakers

2 x D&b E12 Speakers

4 x D&b E8 Speakers

2 x D&b Qi7

3 x D&b Qi-SUB

2 x D&b Max 12 Wedges

6 x D&b E0's


Radio Microphones

5 x Shure AD4Q Receivers

20 x Shure AD1 Transmitters

4 x Shure UHFR Receivers

2 x UR1 Transmitters

2 x UR1-M Transmitters

3 x UR2 HandHelds


Recording Setup

1 x Yamaha LS9

1 x Focusrite 18i20 (third Generation)

1 x MacBook Air (Running Logic Pro)

2 x Roland Cube Monitors

Lighting