Wednesday, October 15, 2014

And Let Me Introduce....

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When I found out I was going to be playing the host for our game show, Scrutiny, I was very excited. Making it even better was the fact that I would be joined by my co-host Sherry played by my friend Amani Bethea. I was  glad to be assuming this role in a style much like a slightly sinister Dick Clark. Within days I began researching famous TV Game Show moments, and hosts to find how one sculpts the show into an entertaining evening. I see my character as a seasoned host who omnisciently commands the contestants with stern and sometimes purposefully unclear directions. During this episode I’m pleased to announce some new games to challenge the unsuspecting teenage guests on the show. Being one of the few characters with a mic you’ll be sure to hear the clearly games and their rules (plus some shrewd commentary here and there.)

This role gives me a unique chance to show some real theatrical presentation towards the audience. The contestants and the bulk of our characters are staying inside the fourth wall, meaning they act as if the audience isn’t there. As the host I need to play for the audience and keep each viewer engaged in the show.

Working with Amani and the judges is a ton of fun and we get to bounce off of each other a lot during scenes. Sherry is the one able to directly come in contact with the contestants and is equally pleased by their nerves being on the Game Show. Sharing the podium we’ll be judging and snickering at the contestants noble attempts at these nearly impossible challenges. Our panel of judges will be right next to us adding their opinions and picking each games winner.

So join us October 30th, 31st and November 1st. I’m your host, James Sapphire, and Welcome to Scrutiny!
-Peter Bahr

Monday, October 13, 2014

New Developments

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As Scrutiny gets closer and closer to opening night (3 weeks to go!!) the development of characters and of the plot is becoming clearer and more resolute. Many decisions are made through experimentation and testing of ideas and often, after a change is made, we discover something new about the original plan for the play that we might not have known beforehand. This strategy strengthens the quality of the play and makes for even more interesting ideas. Additionally, tech crews continue to meet (including blog, costumes, props, publicity, etc.) really spinning the play in motion as all of the wheels are turning and things are clicking rapidly into place. The show is are coming up fast and there is tons of excitement in the air! Everyone is hunkering down getting ready to present what is going to be a great show!

Until next time,
-Allie Kohlkins

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Develoments

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Hello, people of the Blogopshere. As Scrutiny gets closer and closer to opening night (3 weeks to go!!), the development of characters and of the plot is becoming clearer and more resolute. Recent character choices about one character have sent the play into a different, and much better, direction. Jeff Erazo, a fellow member of the blog crew and a seasoned Berkshire theater veteran, made the decision to spin his part around in a new way, changing quite a bit about the play. While we are losing what could have possibly been a very interesting character, we are gaining a new Scrutiny contestant who will add new components to the story. Many decisions are made like this, as we rely heavily upon improvisation and love to experiment. Additionally, tech crews continue to meet (including blog, costumes, props, publicity, etc.), really spinning the play in motion, as all of the wheels are turning and things are clicking rapidly into place. The shows are coming fast, and there is tons of excitement in the air! 

-Allie Kohlkins

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Real Talk with Jeff

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Howdy everyone! Welcome to the first Real Talk with Jeff. Get ready to get the latest scoop as to what’s happening in Allen Theater!

To begin today’s topic, I first want to prompt you with a question: How often do teachers ask you for your input in school? Aside from class participation, I don’t know of many teachers that allow their students to dictate what happens in class. This is what makes working on Scrutiny  a rewarding experience. Not only are we revamping an old version of the script, but WE have a huge say in what direction we want to take this play in.

Most of the rewriting of the script happens through improvisation. Yes, you read right! During rehearsals, Mr. Howard, our director, gives us an idea to work with and our job is to create a scene (through improv) that captivates the idea of the theme. For those of you that have taken improvisation, you know that improv can take a scene in a million directions.

This, of course, requires us to trust each other, have vision, and accept failure. Unlike in other aspects of life, failure is completely embraced in theater. Not only does it enable us to learn from our mistakes, but it helps us create better art. And theater is all about trying to convey human emotions through art.

With three weeks to go before opening night, I can say that all of us have thoroughly enjoyed this challenging, yet gratifying experience. In life, it’s pretty rare to become part of an amazing process like this one, so we make sure to make every second count.

Until next time!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tech Day!

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Here at Berkshire Theater we consider ourselves a varsity activity because we dedicate ourselves as actors and as tech members as you would any varsity sport. On Saturdays we take time to create the set for Scrutiny we call these days Tech Days.  This weekend, some members of the cast built pieces that will be used for the show.

On our Tech Days we also work on other tech activities that don't include drills.  We have tech crews for cast bios, costumes, props, publicity, and blog! Spotted in the picture below is the hard-working blog crew, as they find new ways to enhance the blog even more.

As always thanks for reading.

-Amani Bethea

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mountain Day!

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On Monday the Berkshire theater group participated in the Mountain Day festivities with a team hike up to Black Rock. The trail goes up to a vast open space with a beautiful view of Berkshire and the surrounding town of Sheffield. We set out from Allen Theater at 9:45 sharp and set upon the mountain. After a good hike, we reached Black Rock, where we played several theater games, such as Questions a game that requires the competitors to have a conversation using only questions and The Manner of the Word which is an interpretation game in which one player has to guess what word another player is acting out based on actions they do. Between games there were many pictures taken, sword fights fought, and lots of fun had for everyone who participated. After some time spent up high, we headed back down the somewhat precarious trail and all sat and relaxed during what was definitely a well-deserved lunch.

-Allie Kohlkins

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Cast of Scrutiny!

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The Game Is On....

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Here at Berkshire school we are off to a great start with the upcoming show of Scrutiny. This is another unique and spectacular show to be performed on Berkshire campus October 30th, 31st and November 1st.  This play is similar to the Fall original play last year, Plans. Just like that show this piece is an original play written by Mr. Howard and his students that we’re presently hard at work reconstructing. The play is now set on a game show called Scrutiny, one in which no contestant can ever hope to win! The eight contestants on the show go through some very emotional, strenuous, and ridiculous games as we paint a picture for you of adolescent life. Along with the contestants is Mr. R, the father of one of the teenagers and also a former contestant himself. Also, onstage is a trio of harsh judges meticulously grading the student contestants’ every move. Lastly, there is a duo of hosts guiding you through the entire night’s episode, one of which is played by myself.

Being a new student here at Berkshire I can say without bias that the process in Berkshire’s theater department is professional, fun, and creative. We are enjoying ourselves every day of rehearsal as we go through the script and scenes putting together these pieces in an entirely new and unforgettable way.    

-Peter Bahr 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Scrutiny, an original play

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We are so excited to be back in the Berkshire Theater. This fall the Theater Department is working on an original play called Scrutiny. This play was produced at BCD over 10 years ago and we are not only bringing it back but working hard at re-writing and re-constructing the play to be performed October 30, 31st and November 1st. Your current bloggers Lily Jeong, Amani Bethea, Peter Bahr, Allie Kohlkins and Jeffrey Erazo will be keeping you updated every step of the way, so keep checking in!  

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strike and Cast Party

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After a great full day of two shows on Saturday, the cast and crew of “Don’t You Forget About Me” piled into a van and headed over to McDonald’s to celebrate.  And we did celebrate- a wedding at McDonalds – yeah that happened- Pratima wore Jojo’s wedding dress and all.

At Berkshire Theater we like to wrap up the experience with a cast party to celebrate and reflect.  This time when the show’s over is always bittersweet for everyone for each show, but especially for the spring.  With so many seniors who have made such a big impact on this program it brings things into perspective.  During "hot seat” we gather together and share wholesomely positive things we learned about each other.  The cast party of course would not have been complete without breaking into a round of our “Don’t You Forget About Me” mash up and singing “La la la la la” over and over.  I don’t think we’ll be able to get that tune out of our heads for a while.

Finally on Tuesday we striked” the stage, taking away all the props and scenery to set up for BIMP (Berkshire Theater Improv) and other upcoming performances.  Strike brings the experience full circle, doing the reverse of a set build.  You could say we got to know the theater on a different level after this strike- that is underneath the stage.  Led by ASM Carrie people soon after followed Carrie into the mysterious fun of underneath the stage.

On another note we’d like to give a special thanks to Hayden’s mom for capturing some great moments on stage.  You can check out her newly launched website to find some of these amazing photos:

Friday, May 9, 2014

Happy Tech Week!

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 Happy Tech Week! This is probably the most exciting week of the spring. After seven weeks of rehearsals, preparations, line runs, and warm-ups, things in Allen Theater are beginning to look exciting. People not involved in theater usually give Tech Week a bad rep, but I just love everything about Tech Week. There is something about the ambiance in Allen that completely changes everything. This shift is what we call “Robo.” It’s a very important element to have when involved in a theater production. 
Robo is the state of readiness, focus, and contained excitement that each one of us carries on stage and off stage. So what exactly do I mean? Unlike sports events in which teammates will cheer for one another during a game, Robo is a form of contained excitement. It is actually counterproductive for actors to cheer and yell for one another backstage; instead, we silently cheer each other on by giving someone a firm pat on the back or a high five. Nothing more. 

The purpose of this is to keep each other focused on the goal and to help keep everyone ready. And it’s really fun. There’s nothing that I love more than going backstage and having everyone focused before they go onstage. It’s relieving. During our Dress Rehearsal, this was definitely something that got all of us through the night. Thanks to Robo, we were able to put on a successful show!

-Jeffrey Erazo 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Load In

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Load In!
So when exactly does Tech Week Begin? It all begins with Load In. Last Friday the cast of Don’t You Forget About Me came together to finalize the set of the play. When I first found out that this play was going to consist of four different 80s movies—Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Breakfast Club, Mystic Pizza,and Say Anything—I had a hard time trying to picture how we were going to build the setEverything suddenly became clear to me; The Mystic Pizza shop, Ferris’s bedroom, the library, Corey's bedroom, and Diane’s living room all seem to coexist together even though they come from different movies. It all feels right.

The Green Room was buzzing with excitement as the costume crew got everyones costumes into place. I could already smell the hairspray and gel. Backstage the props crew set up a props table with all of the show’s props. For the first time in 8 years, I got to see an actual boom box upfront. That just comes to show how obsolete this iconic music player has become. 

The stage managers took charge in steering the ship toward the right direction. Under the watchful eyes of Dom everyone was able to finish their respective tasks. The Green room was spotless, the stage was set, the costumes were in order, and the props were accounted for. Finally, the play had become one.

-Jeffrey Erazo 

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Set Build

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Sneak peek behind the scenes in the shop, where pieces of the set are made.

As the spirited cast and crew of Don't You Forget About Me heads into the final two weeks, work is moving ahead steadily on the set!

There's always time for humor, even between heavy lifting. 

Field trip to pick up mattresses for scenes in Say Anything and Ferris Bueller.

The set is coming together!

Set builds are always one of my favorite experiences to take away from each show. While they are opportunities to bond with the cast and listen to awesome music, we more importantly get to look back at the end of the day and say "we built that." Acting is only a fraction of the Berkshire Theater experience. I have learned so much about everything from lighting the stage, to using power tools, to being a part of a team that is totally committed to one goal. As a senior, this is my seventh production here at Berkshire and I am every bit as excited for this show to go up as I was the first time I stepped on stage. 

- Kennedy Alvarez