April 2013 Newsletter Behind the Scenes
Meet Katie Carlson
ERHS teacher, speech guru, one-act director, and super-mom, Katie Carlson has been doing quadruple duty for a while now. She’s taking a breather from the one-act next year, but before making her getaway, she graciously agreed to an interview. To hear about the most gratifyingly absurd student audition she’s ever witnessed, and to discover the single item Ms. Carlson couldn’t do without in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse, read on:
Q1. Regarding your tenure directing the one-act, select and briefly elaborate on TWO of the following talking points: High Point, Low Point, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Turning Point, Exclamation Point, Vanishing Point, and Point of No Return.
Point of No Return: Not being able to bring our set for Dracula due to the size of the trailer was pretty maddening. We knew that “the show must go on!” but much of our blocking relied on the large set piece. To much surprise, the kids rose to the occasion. While I was melting down in the front of the bus, the kids were problem-solving in the back of the bus. By the time we reached the competition, the show had been re-blocked and the judges didn’t even notice.
High Point: This may not be a specific memory/talking point, but I love not only getting to see our kids compete and share their work with other schools but seeing them take pride in their work and in our program. When we step onto the stage, the actors and technicians are working in tandem on something they are proud of and, more importantly, something that has challenged them and spurred on personal growth.
Q2. In your role as one-act director, what’s the strangest/funniest (pick one) thing you’ve seen?
I will NEVER forget the odd moments from each year’s auditions. One of the most memorable was during auditions for Sideways Stories – the students were asked to create a scene from an elementary school but were asked to do so utilizing improvisation. For some odd reason, Ryan Richardson (a 9th grader at the time) created the wildest lunch lady I had ever seen. The entire theatre was in stitches! This moment sticks out to me because it is a great example of students taking risks, being creative, and committing to something no matter how absurd.
Q3. You are taking a well-earned break from directing the one-act. What one piece of advice would you give your successor?
As much as this is a competition, winning is not the aim. In my experiences, I quickly learned that it is easy to get caught up in the heat of the competition. Educational theatre is about learning and growing and as long as that never ceases, we will always be winners.
Q4. Factoring out fatigue, how excited are you for Lincoln, and what are your hopes for the trip?
We went into the MN chapter festival with the expectation to perform and have fun doing it, so I have a similar aim for this trip. Due to summer conflicts and the expense of the trip, the cast and crew will not be whole so I know this will be a different experience, but I am excited for the challenge and opportunities presented and I know that our kids will present themselves with their usual class. The kids have also really expressed interest in the nightly dance parties – I can’t wait to see them make friends with students from other schools/states and to see them enjoy all the facets this festival has to offer.
Q5. The unthinkable has happened and a Zombie Apocalypse is upon us. You must evacuate immediately and travel to a secure zone where your entire family and all pets safely await your arrival. You are allowed to take with you just one non-essential item. Keeping in mind the power grid and satellite communications are probably down, what item would you choose?
Hmmmmm…I would probably bring a good book or play to keep my mind preoccupied but it would have to be one that I could read over and over again without going nuts…maybe rereading The Hunger Games could teach me how to survive such an apocalypse? Oh, heck with it. I would bring ChapStick.
Thank you, Ms. Carlson. The Loft Stage will miss you dearly next year. Oh, and if there really IS a Zombie Apocalypse and you happen to see Hilarie Cariaga nearby, shuffling all slow and undead-like, you might want to steer clear. I’m just sayin.’
April 2013 Volunteer Corner
SPOTLIGHT ON HILARIE CARIAGA: THE LOFT STAGE’S VOLUNTEER MVP
Before we get to the questions, and by way of introduction, explain how you got involved with costuming and how many shows you’ve sewn for.
My first show was Seussical, which involved helping the students hot glue decorations on their “Who” t-shirts and making Gertrude’s wings. From this I moved to Stillwater Community Theater where I costumed Annie. This was a huge undertaking, as I had NEVER done a show on my own. After Annie, Marcie Berglund asked me for some help with Woodbury Community Theater’s production of Amahl. All together, I have been involved in over 10 shows in the last 4 years.
Q1. Regarding your time as costumer to the stars, select and briefly elaborate on TWO of the following talking points: High Point, Low Point, Boiling Point, Freezing Point, Exclamation Point, Vanishing Point, Turning Point, and Point of No Return.
WOW, how do I answer this? I guess the High Point was working on You Can’t Take It With You. Not only did I help with the costumes but with some of the set decorations. Sometimes costumes and set construction blend into one another. After all you are “dressing” the set. The Point of No Return has to be White Christmas and 39 red dresses. I had nightmares and woke up in a sweat over this. I realized that no matter how hard I tried I could not do this on my own. So with a quick post on Facebook my true and dedicated friends stepped up to help. I also met a new friend from church who saved me in more ways than one. Joan Eggert will be my lifelong friend and go-to gal for just about anything to do with sewing. She is amazing!
Q2. What’s the hardest/weirdest (pick one) costume or set piece you’ve been asked to create?
The hardest costume was one from Seussical. It started out as a yellow pleated dress that we were asked to take apart and make a skirt out of it. That was the easy part, but then we were asked to take the skirt and turn it back into a dress. You have no idea how hard it was to put all the pleats back together. Sometimes the Director will ask for something that is nearly impossible but you just try and do your best. Remember that a happy Director makes for a happy show.
Q3. Your generosity as a Loft Stage volunteer is legendary. What words of wisdom would you impart to hesitant prospective volunteers?
Don’t think about it, just jump in and do it. Many times I thought, “I can’t do that,” and then surprised myself. Be willing to try and to ask for help. One person cannot do it alone, but many hands make light of the task and it is more fun.
Q4. In your experience, describe ERHS’s most memorable wardrobe malfunction.
I can’t think of any malfunctions, only a few costumes that we could have done a better job of fitting.
Q5. The unthinkable has happened. A Zombie Apocalypse is upon us, and you, Hilarie, are a zombie (sorry, friend). Turns out scientists have discovered dining on fresh brain confers some of the brain’s assets on the undead diner in question. With that in mind (pun intended), whose brain would you eat and why?
One thing I learned early on was to try and get into the Director’s head to see their vision for the show. So I guess I would consume all their brains. Directors can and do change their minds, so remember not to eat too fast.
Thanks so much Hilarie–you’re the best. Ahem, directors, if there IS a Zombie Apocalypse, take heed.
Spring Play Parent Meeting
If you missed last nights parent meeting, don’t fret, below you can find the presentation in .pdf form. There are also links to the registration form as well as where to purchase make-up kits and t-shirts for the spring play.
March 2013 Behind the Scenes
Help out the Loft Stage by donating items around your home for use in theatre productions.
Here’s George’s Spring Cleaning Wish List:
- Furniture (present a photo before delivery)
- Household items for props
- Usable Latex Paint (1/2 gallon minimum)
- Fabrics or novelties for making costumes
- Clothing for costumes
- Curtains, tablecloths, blankets, etc.
- Storage containers
- Pictures or wall hangings
Coupon Book Fundraiser Info
Coupon Cards Fundraiser is Back!
Back by popular demand is our merchant card individual fundraiser. Last year, many students earned big bucks by selling these popular discount cards to family, friends and neighbors. Students can use their individual funds for a variety of theater activities including activity fees, field trips and merchandise/photos. Here’s how it works:
The cards feature local businesses with various product discounts. Last year merchants included Great Clips, Dairy Queen, Papa Murphy’s Pizza and Acapulco. The cards sell for $20 and students get to keep $10 for every card they sell. Most sales occur during a fun weekend sales blitz, where students work in teams to target ERHS neighborhoods to make sales. This event is followed by a pizza party, complete with cash prize drawings and awards for top sellers. All who participated last year had fun and were pleasantly surprised at how much they could earn in one afternoon. “I was amazed how much fun it was and how easy it was to sell the cards,” said Beth Martin, who earned $180 during last year’s blitz.
We also need a handful of parent volunteers to work with teams on the sales blitz date. Booster Mom Mary Kieffer helped last year: “It was so much fun to see how excited the kids were. We were calling and texting back and forth with another team to see who had the most sales and the pizza party was a big hit. Our kids love hanging out together anyway, so this way they can be together and earn money for their theater activities.”
This year’s fundraiser is March 1-22, with the all-important sales blitz on Sunday, March 3 from 1:00 – 5:00 pm. Students need to sign up to participate by Feb. 8th. Ms. Hestwood has a sign up sheet in her office. Any additional questions regarding the fundraiser can be directed to Todd and Annette Thorsen at 651-756-8032 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an FYI, The Loft Stage Boosters conducts only two individual fundraisers per season: Butter Braids during the fall and the coupon cards during winter/spring.