I miss doing summer theatre.
This summer the only things going on in the theatre have been the weightlifting event of the Special Olympics and five sessions of the freshmen orientation for next fall.
I enjoyed the Special Olympics and was impressed by all the athletes, but I really did not have much to do for that event.
We used to do shows every summer but have not done one in over fifteen years.
As I look back at summer of my summer theatre memories I have included links to posts in which I have written about them in more detail.
I did my first summer production in 1975 after my first year in college.
I returned home and lit the local community theatre production of No, No, Nanette.
This was the production when I got the best insight and design concept from the director when he told me to just “Make it Pretty”.
The summer of 1976, the bi-centennial, was my favorite and busiest summer of theatre.
Right after the end of school I went to NYC and for a month worked off-Broadway on four plays in rep.
After just a few days off I went out to Gateway Playhouse for a true summer stock experience of which I wrote several blog entries.
It was a crazy and wild summer working hard, learning a lot and having a good time all the time we were bitching about everything.
Stories from that summer start with this post:
The summer of 1977 was my first as a “Professional Designer”
I was hired to be the lighting designer for two productions at a small Long Island theatre.
The shows were Rogers and Hart, A Musical Celebration and The Sound of Music.
Details about the shows are in the following post:
The next summer was right after I graduated from college and I did not work on any play, well not directly.
This was the summer that I worked for Lycian Stage Lighting.
I was soon off to Graduate school were we had four shows in rep each summer.
The first summer I designed two of the plays and the second summer I worked on my master’s thesis and did time as the master electrician for the summer rep.
Details about my first summer at Michigan can be found at the following link as well as mixed in 20 other post I wrote about my time at Michigan:
After Graduate school I returned home to Long Island and did what work I could find in the area.
In the summer of 1981 I was hired to be the Scenic and Lighting Designer as well as the Technical Director at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.
The productions were the musical Candide, Shadow of a Gunman by Sean O’Casey and Da by Hugh Leonard.
The first of two posts about that summer is:
I was out of Theatre for a year while I was working in a photo studio in NYC, but in the Fall of 1982 I started working at the College at Brockport.
For the next seventeen years I worked on most of the summer production the college produced but I was giving a break the summer they did The Wizard of Oz.
I was glad to be off that year as they set off the fire alarms during every performance because they used too much flash powder and fog.
In the summers of 1994 and 1998 I got a chance to work outside of Brockport again and do true summer stock.
I have not yet written details of those summers but they are coming up soon.
I the last few years that we had summer shows there a few that there was no show because of renovations to the building.
Cutbacks in funding and higher costs finally killed the summer productions at Brockport.
As I have gotten older I do not know if I could do a full summer of theatre as I did back in 1976 when I was 20 but I am glad I had the chance to do it when I did.
* * *