I’ve had the pleasure of photographing dress rehearsal at the Playhouse on Park a few times and each time I’m amazed at the talent and performance of the actors and crew.
The latest show was the production “The Mystery of Irma Vep” which required the two characters, Sean Harris and Rich Hollman, to play 8 different roles and make 39 quick costume changes. Tori Mintzer (C) applies makeup to Harris while Hollman slicks his hair down in preparation of wearing a variety of wigs.
Harris and Hollman get help from Sarah Smith (L) and Shushrusha Lamsal (R) fitting into their first costumes of the night. Velcro is sewed into the back of the outfits so the actors can quickly go back stage and change from one costume to the next with minimal delay.
Hollman, as Lord Edgar, proudly shows off the supposed werewolf he killed that haunts the grounds but is later informed he has killed just a wolf. The play involves ghosts, mummies, vampires and werewolves.
Harris, as Lady Enid, is comforted by Lord Edgar, Hollman, after she was attacked by a vampire. Hollman had to rush back stage to get out of the vampire costume and back into Lord Edgar, all along he carries on a conversation with Lady Enid from backstage while she tries to compose herself.
In the closing scene Harris emerges through a frame that usually holds a painting of Irma Vep, the former lady of the house and first wife to Lord Edgar, and screams hysterically towards the audience. Lights go down and act one ends.
Unfortunately I was unable to stay for the remainder of the show but from what I did encounter, the audience that saw the shows during January were treated to a great comedy as the two men masterfully portrayed their numerous parts.
Pro Tip: Theater lighting can be very challenging to say the least but the results can be dramatic if patient and the stage is well lit. Working backstage was the most difficult since where the actors were changing costumes was right behind a black curtain at the back of the set and the only lighting used was a dim blue light so the stagehands could find the props and next outfit.
Cameras used: Nikon D300s and D300
Lenses: 17-55/2.8 and 70-200/2.8
Shutter speeds varied from 1/4 of a sec. to 250th and ISO’s of 400 to 2500.