It’s an early Saturday morning, two weeks away from the opening of the next Mainstage theatre production, RATIONS. Theatre and Dance majors and minors, students in the tech theatre classes, members of the RATIONS cast, theater work- study students, department staff, and other volunteers have all gathered together this morning for Work Weekend.
Work Weekend is a tradition in the Theatre and Dance department, happening 2-3 weeks before every main stage show opens. It’s a chance to help out a production, see friends and classmates, and learn more about aspects of building a show. Together, this group will work all day, hanging lights, making costumes, shaping props, and making sure that the show is ready to open come April 12.
As the work weekend starts, many students are hanging lights onstage, while some head up in safety harnesses to the “clouds,” the area high above the audience seating, to attach more lighting fixtures there. In the scene shop, located behind the main stage, a crew at work building small boxes for the set. Heading to the costume shop reveals students at work creating “surrealist apron” patterns, to be transferred from paper form onto cloth later in the day. The Green Room, usually a tranquil space for homework, has been transformed into foam-fruit factory; students hack away at blocks of foam to create the shapes of apples, oranges, grapes, and cherries.
By the end of the day, the lights have been hung, the stage is ready for paint, the foam fruits have been painted, and there are 5 “surreal aprons” ready for the show. The theater is that much more ready for RATIONS.
RATIONS: A New Performance about Food and Eating takes place in site-specific locations around the campus and in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center on the Mainstage Theatre, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul, Minn. Site specific performances will begin at 6:30 p.m. and move to the Mainstage at 7:30 p.m. on April 12, 13, 18, and 19; site specific performances begin at 1 p.m. and move to the Mainstage at 2 p.m. on April 14. For more information on the site-specific performances, check the Macalester Theatre and Dance Website. All performances are free. For ticket reservations, call 651-696-6359.