By Emily Radler, Teen Council member
On November 4, Teen Council hosted its second CLAIM Conference in Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre. The Conference was part of the claimyourARTS ("CLAIM") initiative, which allows teens to speak out about the importance of arts in education. The CLAIM Conference gives dozens of Bay Area teens, including myself, a chance to raise our voices for the arts.
The conference started off with a teen-generated slideshow featuring facts and figures reminding us why arts in schools are a must, not a maybe. From the slideshow as well as events later in the day, we learned that student involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, increased standardized test scores, greater involvement in community service, and lower dropout rates. These facts, among many others, were things I didn't know until I participated with my team, the Ferocious Watermelons, in a series of competitive CLAIM games. The games taught us that it is important to act fast when it comes to standing up for our arts, and we learned how to support our position with factual information.
By Amanda Spector, education fellow
So much of how we experience theatre has to do with what we see. Berkeley Rep's Teen Council was lucky enough to meet with Daniel Ostling, the Tony Award-nominated set designer, before seeing Mary Zimmerman’s The White Snake, which is now playing here at Berkeley Rep. Aesthetically, the set designer creates the playing space for the actors and is instrumental in bringing the show to life. Daniel has collaborated with Mary on a number of productions, and shared with Teen Council what it means to start with a book, a myth, or a simple story and to end up with a stunning work of art.
Teen Council member Emily Radler interviewed Daniel as part of Teen Night, which is a discounted night of theatre at Berkeley Rep for Bay Area teens. The event includes an exclusive interview and dinner before the show. Here's a video of the interview, where Daniel shares insight about the creative process.
One of our graphics department's most important tasks is creating the artwork for each show. This artwork appears on all marketing materials: the show program, posters, ads, postcards, and more. Good artwork doesn't give everything about the show away, but it does draw the viewer in.
The past couple of shows (An Iliad and Chinglish) and almost all of last season's shows involved artwork that was created on the computer or with production photos. Depending on the show, it is easier to use an iconic photo (like In Paris), or a type-based logo (such as Ghost Light) for our marketing purposes. Computer-generated artwork — which is readily altered and manipulated for all of the marketing materials — makes our lives as graphic designers a little easier.
Cheshire, our art director, had a very clear image in his mind of what he wanted for The White Snake, Mary Zimmerman's adaptation of the classic Chinese fable. Although we had access to production photos from the world premiere in Ashland, we wanted to create our own image of a particular scene in the play.
To celebrate, Scenic Charge Artist Lisa Lazar shares a fun tip about prepping some scenery for the show. Take it away, Lisa!
I have been tending to the scenery for our upcoming production of The White Snake. This show is a co-production with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and we're using their scenery, costumes, and props.