Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021 - 45

percent. The costume shop went from
10 people working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
down to six people working from 1 p.m.
to 5 p.m. Altogether, Bouck estimated the
labor loss at 780 hours for the fall semester. In addition to time and labor, Bouck
and the other costume design faculty and
staff had to figure out how to hold socially
distanced wardrobe crew and fittings,
acknowledging that this is a " huge challenge, which seriously hampers our ability to execute to the standards we usually
hold ourselves to. "

Adaptation and Communication

Each time another hurdle was identified,
faculty and staff would break into small
groups based on shared expertise to address, analyze, solve, and implement a
way forward. These communications
were facilitated by technological developments, including an initiative overseen
by Terri Ciofalo and implemented by the
stage management teams to create a
Slack workspace for each production as
an asynchronous method of communication. A Slack workspace is a great way to
bring your students and faculty together
to support both educational and student
life.
As an example, since March 2020, a
separate Slack workspace created for
the Lighting Design and Technology
program has grown considerably and
now contains 17 channels. In addition
to channels that are focused on academics and production assignments, channels are also dedicated to less-serious
pursuits like #nonsense and #out-of-context-quotes, since humor can be a salve
that we all need during these times. In
addition to the channels for asynchronous review of light plots and resumes,
channels are also dedicated to tips on
console programming and photometrics. Channels also exist where students
and faculty can post movie and concert
recommendations.
A practical example of adaptive solutions included reimagined tech table
layouts and headset communications
during technical and recording rehearsals. The standard layout of tech tables,
with students sitting side by side with
their advisors, would need to be completely re-thought. During several Zoom
meetings, as Ryan Schultz, technical
director of Krannert Center, drafted in
AutoCAD, we strategically placed every

Nathan M. Ramsey in the role of Banquo. (top). Charlie Bauer in the role of Daddy Ubu. (right).
Production team included: Scenic Designer: Yvonne Tessman, Properties Master: Wendy Wu, Costume
Designer: Melissa Hall-Reynolds, Lighting Designer: Tanner Funk, Sound Designer: Miykael Hutchins,
Media Designer: M. Ospina-Lopez, Stage Manager: Tom Zhang. | Photos by Darrell Hoemann.

Psh*tter! A Drinking Song for the Year of Our Lord 2020
Originally part of the spring 2020
season, the scenery for Psh*tter! A
Drinking Song for the Year of Our
Lord 2020, a new play by Henry
Wishcamper, had been left in place
in the Colwell Playhouse, which allowed the team to revisit this work and
breathe new life into it. Director Lisa
Gaye Dixon, professor of theatre and
producer of Illinois Theatre, approached the play by filming out of continuity and editing the filmed work for streaming at a later date. " There were tense moments, moments of great laughter and release, but through it all, I definitely felt that the entire
department was pulling behind and trying to support us as best as possible, " she says.
" And while the work was far from perfect, it did demonstrate to us, the department,
and beyond, that we could and would survive and perhaps even thrive in this new,
incredibly challenging environment. " In addition to traditional technical rehearsal process personnel, staff positions were added for the filming process and to monitor
COVID-19 safety regulations on stage. Students volunteered to be trained as camera
operators and went through crew training overseen by Alec LaBau. In October, the
production team spent 28 hours filming technical/recording rehearsals to get all of
the moments needed for the final product. In November, students and faculty reviewed the footage with Dixon and edited the content in post-production. From Dec.
3-12, 2020, Psh*tter! was accessible as a free stream on Krannert Center's website.

table with a six-foot circle around that
person and analyzed egress paths. Once
we had all of the tables, students, and advisors spread throughout the audience
area, we discovered we would need to
build more tables. Alec LaBau, director
of media and assistant audio director for
Krannert Center, and the sound design
students ran hundreds upon hundreds
of feet of XLR cable to connect lighting,

media, audio, stage management, camera operators, and switcher with the faculty advisors and the director. Hundreds
of feet of media cable were also used so
that the director, lighting designer, media
designer, and stage manager would each
have video monitors tied into the video
switcher.
The theatre production faculty also
faced the question of how to connect with

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Theatre Design & Technology - Spring 2021

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