Theatre in the round. Or at least, the rectangle. It keeps a photographer on his toes! Nylon Fusion Theatre Company presented their full length piece, Unmentionables, at Theatre 54. It’s an intimate space, which I’d worked in before, as a fight director for a production called Homeward Bound. For that one, they eschewed the traditional floor plan of stage at one end of the long room and audience at the other. Instead, they put the barracks in which the is set all along one long wall, with the audience opposite.
In Unmentionables, director Montserrat Mendez and set designer Kyu Shin set the two playing areas (a Hollywood agent’s outer and inner offices) in the entirety of the space, save a 4′ strip around the space where the audience is seated. The space is small, so there are no bad seats, but certainly where an audience member chooses to sit will affect which story lines are intimate and in their face and which are a bit more remote. Of course for me, this meant running circuits of the room, trying to catch each moment from just the right angle. Frequently, I’d be waiting for actors in a scene to hit a good position for where I was, only to give up and move to where the shot was, JUST in time for them to move to the angle I’d been waiting for!
The lighting by Gilbert Peatro was lovely. He had a challenge, creating two distinct areas with as little bleed as possible. He made use of some LED instruments, mixed with traditional instruments, which gave some rich, saturated colors. However, as I learned in this show (and the next one — Scenario: Script to Perform), the light they give is challenging for cameras. It will be interesting to see the changes and adaptations I’ll have to make in the coming months and years as LEDs become more prevalent.
The show itself was very well done. a 1930s tale of Hollywood, where everyone has a secret and everyone is trying to make it big – whatever that means to them. Well directed and well acted, it was a pleasure to watch while I was shooting.