Introducing…Mermaid’s UK Tour Stage Manager

Hi folks,

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favourites, UK tour 2011

I am Shawn Sorensen from Vancouver, BC, Canada.  I just completed my first rehearsal period with Mermaid Theatre and we packed the set up yesterday for Oxford, England.  It has been a lot to take in, in only 9 days, but the challenge is worth it.  I have been lucky to have John Allen and Rebecca to work with during this rehearsal period.  They know the show inside and out, and have exercised much patience with me along the way.

Rehearsals for "Caterpillar" UK tour. Also onstage are Mermaid's "PlayThings" puppetry workshop participants and Artistic Director Jim Morrow.

We started on the Monday by having me learn the track backstage with fellow SM Christine Oakey in full light.  She then guided me through the track for the next few runs in full light, whispering over my ear when I forgot things.  We broke the show down into the 3 stories it contains and worked on those specifically over the next few days.  Before she departed for Toronto on the second day, I ran the full show with her watching.  Then the three of us worked the individual stories and finessed our handoffs and grabs.  By Thursday we dimmed the lights.  By Friday we were in complete blackness with only the backlights.  By Saturday I was using the hood as well.

Backstage at a Mermaid black-light show

Once Monday came we were running the show in full black costume, masks and little backstage running light.  It was an exhausting but enjoyable week.

We are now packed, and leave on Monday night………let the adventure begin!

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