Saturday, May 29, 2010

All the World's a Stage

I can't believe I forgot to write my journal entry last night. There have been nights when I haven't done it because of circumstances, but I don't think ever because I forgot. But I always write the next day's entry the night before, so technically the entry I'm writing now is actually for today and I haven't really forgotten anything anyway.

The reason I forgot was that we had been to the theatre that night and the review had to get to the paper before I went to sleep. I was so concentrated on getting that finished that by the time I sent it off, this journal was the last thing on my mind.

The show we attended was Acme Theatre Company's 30th anniversary production of As You Like It, on the outdoor stage at the Davis Art Center. Jeri was in the second (and subsequent) Acme Theatre production when she was in high school and it's hard to realize that the young people's company has now been around for thirty years.

The Memorial Day production is always an outdoor show and is aways free, as a thank you to the town of Davis for all of its support. It used to be held on a stage downtown behind the Pence Art Gallery, but when the gallery expanded, they needed to find a new venue and the stage behind the Davis Art Center is just perfect, with the flat grass for people to sit on and then a hill behind it if you want a better view. There is a bike path that runs between the flat grass and the hill, and cyclists coming through during the show adds an interesting flavor.

This year there was a food truck there selling sandwiches and so we decided to have our dinner in the park before the show.

AcmeDinner.jpg (67723 bytes)

I had a chicken salad sandwich on foccacia bread and then a cup of strawberries and whipped cream, which was a wonderful light dessert, so much better than the cookies they were selling.

The production this year was very interesting because they decided to make it a "recycle show." They solicited material from the community and then built the set and the costumes out of the recycled materials they gathered. The set, for example, was cardboad boxes and newspaper covered panels.

AcmeStage.jpg (112113 bytes)

(Of course when they planned an essentially paper set for a May performance, a time when it's usually quite warm, they had no idea it would RAIN the entire week before the show!) A lot of the boxes across the proscenium arch came from the Girl Scouts, as they were picking up material at the time when the Scouts were finishing their cookie drive and trying to get rid of boxes. Win-win for everyone.

AcmeSlinky.jpg (68324 bytes)The costumes, too, were made of recycled materials. A long train, for example, was made from a black garbage bag and several pieces of costumes were made of paper or plastic, or of old collections of material that had been donated.

The jexter's costume looked like it was made from old souvenir t-shirts from previous shows.

I absolutely loved how they created the ruffs around the women's necks. This one was made from a Slinky; another one was made from the silver tubing of a dryer exhaust.

There was also a clever use of a lot of ties, making the skirt for this costume. Some sort of a basket weave pattern was used on another costume.

AcmeSpock.jpg (49089 bytes)But the element that may have been my very favorite of all, was suddenly discovering when the actress twirled around that one of the ties that formed her over-skirt was actually a Star Trek tie.

The performance was good and there were some surprising elements. Acme always includes music and dancing in its spring show and this one had some solo performers by singers who had extremely good voices.

There was a time when we went to these shows and knew almost everyone there--other parents and grandparents. The director was a teacher, and also a friend of ours. Now the director has retired, the kids are unfamliar and we only recognized one other couple in the audience (neighbors).

But we enjoyed the evening, and when it was over, we packed up our chairs (Walt brought a plastic chair, I had my wonderful new folding camp chair) and we trudged back to the car and home to write the review.


Mary Z said...

What a great community event! I'm sure my niece and her family were there. She and her husband are both art faculty at Davis. Wish you could meet them sometime - or maybe you have and just don't realize it. Hmmmmmm.


The chair photos make me smile for some reason.