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Gloucester cries, having lost his King to madness.

If you're just tuning in now, please read the post prior to this one for much-needed background information!

Picking Up Where We Left Off…

In addition to my role of Production Manager, I had a few small speaking roles, including filling a last-minute opening in the show in our penultimate week of rehearsals because a cast member dropped out. I had a very silly, oft quoted line amongst the cast: "I cannot draw a cart, nor eat dried oats / If it be man's work I'll do't!" Then, my character walked offstage to commit murder. Oh, the joys and absurdities of performing Shakespeare!

Overall, I'm very satisfied with the role I played in the production, both offstage and on. 

The Fool sits alone, monologuing.
The Fool sits alone, monologuing.

In this post I talk about the production process for a typical Rude Mechs show – from what each week looks like to what each rehearsal looks like – and, in that regard, very little has changed in the way we do things as a company.

The main differences would probably be the following:

Firstly, we had lots of lighting and sound cues in this show, so we allotted more time within our tech week rehearsals to ensure those elements were timed correctly and running smoothly.

Secondly, unlike the shows in my last two posts – Richard II and Coriolanus, which took place in Dartmouth Hall 105 – King Lear was performed in Sarner Underground, a space we haven't performed in since my freshman fall, with the charity show featured in this post about my freshman fall family weekend! We chose this on campus venue specifically for its capability to fulfill our sound and lighting needs. It's not a theater space; it's actually intended for band performances, and is the home of Dartmouth's FNR, or "Friday Night Rock," which brings regional bands to campus to perform a couple of times per term. Us Mechs were able to use and adjust the lighting capabilities to fit our needs, and the sound system was more than enough to support our sound design

Lightsaber fight between an exasperated Production Manager and a recently blinded Director.
Lightsaber fight between an exasperated Production Manager and a recently blinded Director.

The Mechs: Offstage 

I've waxed poetic in previous posts about the people in this company and what they mean to me, and all of my prior statements stand. If anything, I've grown even closer with them. Plus, we welcomed an insanely talented group of '27s to our troupe who I've had the pleasure of getting to know this term!

I feel the need to give a shoutout to Lilla Bozek '27 (stage manager) and Aleksa Sotirov '26 (Lear's director) somewhere in this post: I spent a lot of late nights this term with the two of them making sure this show came together. I can recall a particularly memorable evening that truly only makes sense to theater kids such as ourselves (an perhaps you, reading this post): Lilla was in the kitchen of Amarna (the house Aleksa and I live in and are members of) mixing a concoction of peanut butter, dish soap, and red paint that became the show's fake blood; Aleksa was in the adjacent dining room, reviewing notes from the evening's run through of the show; and I was seated next to him, messaging the cast to let them know who would be called for our pre-show stunt calls. Later, after the fake blood was done and the notes were sent, Aleksa and I competed to see who could make the best scrambled eggs. Lilla, along with some other Amarnites and Amarna residents, were the judges – and though I can't quite remember who won, I remember my eggs receiving high praise…

Regardless of the winner, the point is: it's nights like these – innocuous and odd, but deeply meaningful – that have defined my Dartmouth experience. The Dartmouth Rude Mechanicals themselves have defined my Dartmouth experience; the offstage moments even more than the onstage ones. It's easy to look at a finished production, a final performance and feel accomplished; but creating meaningful friendships with these folks has really been one of the greatest achievements in my Dartmouth career yet.

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