The Music Man

Music Man banner - hatBy: Meredith Willson
Produced by: Anderlin Arts
Directed by: Jeremy Anderson
Photos by: Megan Slaker

This was the inaugural Mainstage Production for a new theatre company. For The Music Man Jeremy wanted to highlight the community Harold Hill brings together and the change it has on him. It paralleled what the director was hoping for his theatre company, Anderlin Arts (minus the con jobs of course). He explained the vision of starting the play fairly lifeless and dull, almost monochromatic. Then as the play progressed, the music and band brought color and life to the town.

Anderlin Arts rented a local proscenium auditorium with a lighting grid and small fly system. We loaded in Sunday and opened Friday. My restrictions were I couldn’t touch lights on the core plot or go up to the catwalk. I was welcome to whatever spare instruments, gels, or templates that were lying around, which wasn’t much. I had use of a spotlight, but no operator, so I ran light board and spotlight by myself, which was quite the fun challenge!

To accomplish Jeremy’s vision, I used a cool front light with no sidelight at the beginning of the show. As the play continued I added more side light and color from the sides and tops. The scenery was minimalistic, so lights needed to help set time of day and support different locations. The lights on the cyc helped to accomplish this as did some strip light tops that were already there. One of the fun parts of a process like this is it really challenges your creativity. I would constantly turn channels on trying to find some hidden delight that did what I wanted it to. There were a few specials I discovered through tech that I utilized in the design. I left a busy tech week feeling like I did my job in supporting the story and the actors.

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