The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve

“To Live would be an awfully big adventure.”

“An adventure well worth taking.”

I watched Jonah and Jossie clamber out the window, accompanied by Mikea’s piano playing. And I knew it was over. Just as soon as it’d started, it was over. That’s the thing about One Acts, we only have two show nights. One second it’s opening night. The next it’s time to close up shop.

But I suppose I should just listen to Dr. Seuss: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

And I am so unbelievably happy that it happened. Even as I sit here thinking about the past two nights, I can’t help but smile. Jonah, Jossie, and Claire did an amazing job of becoming everything Erica and I envisioned and more. It was almost eerie, sitting there watching the Trinity perform our play. It made me think about the first time Erica and I talked about Peter Pan. It made me think about our first draft. These characters that were coming to Life before our very eyes…they were our characters. We created Eve and Peter and Delilah. And there they were.

So, The Pan Complex: A Tale of Peter and Eve had it’s first showing. The future of the script and of the play is still a little foggy. But I’ll always remember it’s debut cast. I’ll remember getting chills every time Jonah recited his monologues. I’ll remember bursting with pride the second Jossie became illuminated in that single spot of light. I’ll remember laughing at Claire every time she delivered another silly punch-line. Each of them became more genuine interpretations of their characters than I ever thought possible. I’m so happy Erica and I chose the actors we did.

I could go on all day.

Overall, I think the Festival was an amazing success. I enjoyed all of the plays. I thought the art gallery was really impressive. I even got a few chances to be enchanted by some of the singing performances.

Alas, it’s over. And after this week, Track will be over, too. In one fell swoop of a week, I’ll lose my extra-curriculars. And there’ll be nothing to do but wait. Wait for school to end.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

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A Place to Rehearse

January 3, 2013

A Place to Rehearse

Back in the old days of Mr. Nott, the Gull Lake Performing Arts Company used Mr. Nott’s room (the black-box theatre) for the early stages of our rehearsals. Nowadays, we’re under new management and we’ve been using Mrs. Stahr’s room for our rehearsal space. But I still remember the black-box.

The bell would ring, marking the end of another school day. Students would hurry home. Basketball players and wrestlers would head to the gym for practice. And the PAC Rats would make their way down to Mr. Nott’s room where we’d wait for rehearsal to start.

We’d crowd into the warmth of the spacious, dimly lit room, the sound of Mr. Nott’s soothing music seeping throughout the theatre space. Occasionally, the door to the outside would open in a flurry of cold air and snow as someone coming from an EFE or EFA (off-site educational programs) walked in. A few people would make quick trips to the nearby BP station and grab a quick treat before making their way back to the school. Overall, the black-box just had a homey feeling. It’s the same feeling I get when I sit in Coach Portis’ room before practice. It’s the same feeling I get when we move rehearsals to the Middle School stage. It’s the same feeling I get when I come home after not being there for an extended period of time. It’s just familiar.

Of course, I’ve got nothing wrong with rehearsing in Mrs. Stahr’s room. She’s right when she says that we’ve got all that we need in her room. Twelve Angry Jurors is sort of a minimalist play. All we need to rehearse is a table, 12 chairs, a window, a door, and a water-cooler. All of those things can easily be found or mimed in any classroom of the high school.

However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sad about this change in setting. It’s all just part of the transition, I suppose. I do miss the black-box, though.

But, in the end, the homey feeling surrounding the black-box isn’t really brought on by the theatre space itself, it’s brought on by the people that fill the theatre space.

I’m sure we could meet anywhere before Cross Country as long as all my teammates were there. I’m sure my house could be anywhere and anything as long as my family was there. And I’m sure we could rehearse just about anywhere as long as I got to see my fellow PAC Rats.

Because I’ll love PAC no matter what. Because it’s all about theatre. And that’s what I love.

All we need is A Place to Rehearse and a group of people dedicated to the craft.

No matter where we rehearse, I know I’ll love every second of my last year of PAC. And I know we’ll work to make our production of Twelve Angry Jurors the best it’ll be.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

VIII

December 17, 2012

VIII

Last Wednesday, at 7:00, the Cast List was posted by the new PAC director, Mrs. Stahr. As you can imagine…this was pretty exciting. It read as follows:

Judge/Guard: Charisse T.

Foreman: Kelcee R.

#2: Shelby H.

#3: Samantha K.

#4: Leighanne B.

#5: Karly K.

#6: Jonah G.

#7: Jack L.

#8: Brian W.

#9: Juli G.

#10: Jossie C.

#11: Alana F.

#12: Shelby C.

There was a mad rush to see the Call Board from all who auditioned. Of course, this involved equal amounts of joy and sorrow. But, in the end, the Cast List is what it is. Mrs. Stahr made her choices and I can’t wait to see what the Gull Lake Performing Arts Company will make of Twelve Angry Jurors.

Just this afternoon, the Tech List was posted and it was packed with placements that made me smile.

For starters, Mary and Kristen got Associate Directors…And that makes me happy. I asked Mary a few months back what she’d want to do in PAC this year and she said she certainly wouldn’t mind Associate Director. And I’m glad that she is. I think she’s a creative mind that will really help make the play something special.

And a good friend of mine, Rachel, got Stage Manager. A position I know she’s had her heart set on. Rachel’s a little girl with a very, very big heart and I know she’s up to the task of managing us PAC Rats and whipping us into shape.

Oh, and another good friend, Claire, got Sound Chief. I’ve always thought that was a cool aspect of PAC. Everybody starts out in minor positions, learning the ropes. It’s not very sensible to make a newbie a Chief so, in general, people start out on the bottom rung and work their way up as they display their talents. And it’s really special to see that sort of thing happen to friends of yours.

I can’t remember everything the Tech List said…it was a lot longer than the Cast List and therefore a bit harder to remember. But, overall, I’m just so…unbelievably and uncontrollably excited to start working on this show.

That desire was slightly curbed today. Today was our very first rehearsal. The 13 actors and actresses went and met in Mrs. Stahr’s room for our first read-through of Twelve Angry Jurors. And I thought it went exceptionally well, especially for a first read-through. I mean, it didn’t go perfect…But I don’t think there’s been a single first read-through in the history of theatre that went perfect.

It’s satisfying to finally get our hands on the scripts and to highlight our lines and to read the show that we’ll be performing. I feel good…now that I’m finally doing PAC again.

Even if there’s the grim reality that it will be my last year…

I’m happy to be working on a play.

And I’m thrilled to be Juror No. 8.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)

Suspense Building

November 10, 2012

Here’s the thing: PAC is going through some uncertain turmoil. PAC, for those of you who may not know, is the Drama Club at Gull Lake High School. We’re the Gull Lake Performing Arts Company. And we’re going through some changes.

See, we used to have this Director…Mr. Nott. He was a Great.

(Sidenote: At Gull Lake, I like to picture that most of the departments have Greats. These are the Life changing teachers that we’ll all talk about with the utmost respect for years to come. These are the sage teachers who’ve been with the school for years and most consider that you haven’t truly graduated from Gull Lake unless you’ve had them. In Science, there is Coach Portis. In Social Studies, there is Mrs. Pelletier. In English, there is Mrs. Jones. In Math…well, I hate Math. I don’t picture a Great in the Math department…I try not to think about the Math department. And in the Arts…there is Mr. Nott.)

And he’s retiring. He’s slowly releasing his grasp on Gull Lake, leaving behind a legacy of the greatest Drama teacher Gull Lake will ever have. His first step in this process is stepping down from his position as Director of PAC.

Of course, this has left everyone in PAC with one big question: Who’s going to be the new Director? Who will take the PAC reigns and ride our theatre horse? These are the things that keep me up at night.

So far, the call board has merely read: “…Play title and new Director TBA.” And every day I read that call board and I feel my eagerness grow. The Suspense is Building.

Not only is there mystery surrounding who the Director will be…there’s a lot of confusion about what that new Director might do. For 22 years, PAC has taken part in a competitive theatre league dubbed “State Tour”. But Mr. Nott has speculated and hinted at the fact that the new Director does not necessarily have to do State Tour. Heck, we could end up just performing on our home stage instead of taking the show on tour and displaying it at theatre competitions like we’ve done before.

Maybe this is all a little confusing to you…Okay, let’s clarify a few things. Traditionally, the Gull Lake Performing Arts Company creates a show 45 minutes in length (in accordance with competition rules) and builds a set that fits into an allotted box of space and can be deconstructed and reconstructed in 15 minutes (also in accordance with competition rules.) This show is then taken on tour around the state to different levels of competition where our show is judged in comparison to other school’s shows. It’s competitive theatre.

Anyway, as you can tell, competitive theatre has it’s limitations. I mean, the show can only be 45 minutes? The set needs to be easy to take apart and put together? That’s a little bit…constricting. I’m not complaining, of course, I love State Tour. I just feel like the show’s potential is sometimes oppressed by these rules. So, as much as I really do want to do State Tour, it wouldn’t be the end of the world for me if we only did home shows. The play could be longer, the set could be constructed to our hearts desires…we’d be given a lot more liberty. And we’d be able to present to the community more often, which could result in higher ticket sales and therefore more revenue to the Performing Arts Foundation. There’s certainly some benefits.

So, we PAC Rats are sitting in eager anticipation. Who will replace Mr. Nott? What will they do? What will the show be? Really, when all is said and done, I don’t know if the answers to those questions matter a whole lot. It’ll still be PAC. We’ll still make a show. I’ll still get to see all my friends.

Bottom line: I can’t wait for sign-ups and auditions. I can’t wait for rehearsals. I can’t wait for PAC. It’s my Senior Year and my last High School show. I’m just excited to get started.

-Brian Wiegand (An Idiot, A Superman in training)