Day and Night at The Old Globe

Old Globe Jonathan Caren Writes 2
Evening at The Sheryl & Harvey White Theater
Old Globe Jonathan Caren Writes 2
Early AM at The Sheryl & Harvey White Theater

 It’s the first night of previews for The Recommendation at The Old Globe.

 Working in the round at the Sheryl and Harvey White Theater offers a whole new set of challenges and payoffs.   The space creates an intimate relationship between spectator and performer, when you can see the whites of your fellow audience member’s eyes from across the room.  The challenge is to create a unified world without having a static set, or really a traditional set at all.

          This is where shit gets cool..   Alexander Dodge  (whose credits include Present Laughter, ZackBraff’s recent All New People — now going to the UK, and Paul Weitz’s Trust) created an incredible fusion and synergy with Phillip S. Rosenberg‘s transformative light design.  The interplay between the two literally blurs the line between stage and light design, as we have walls of light beaming up through grates from on the stage, creating all kinds of special effects.  Each transition and new location feels like going on a ride and they’re never expected.  Somehow we’re able to travel fifteen years from a college dorm to a pool side patio, to a holding cell using two benches and some incredibly clever designers.

Table Work The Recommendation Jonathan Caren Writes
First Table Read of The Recommendation

So my lesson here is regards to working in the round is…. sometimes less is more.   With the right symbolism and some inventiveness, the imagination can take us everywhere we need to go.   But the path here has also been paved by renaissance sound designer Lindsay Jones, who set up a virtual studio in the theater and underscored the play in real-time with both buoyancy and bite.  And Linda Cho who has brought detail to these characters to life and helped us create age, location and time.

Going through tech on The Recommendation
Going through tech on The Recommendatio

It took countless people to make this happen including the lovely stage manager Diana Moser, Sarah Kolman, movement by Tony Caligagan, scenic design by Sean Fanning, associate costume by Michelle Hunt Souza and Producers Eric Louie and Justin Waldman.  All the parts have to come together in just the right way for the play to live.  We’ll find out just how the pieces add up tonight.

The stage finally coming to life, The Recommendation, Jonathan Caren Writes
The stage finally comes to life