Getting Ready for a Spring of Sorcery!

By Barra A. Peak

As our 60th Anniversary year draws to a close, we look forward to the beginning of another 60 years of HRG&SP!  What better way to kick off this new beginning than with The Sorcerer—Gilbert and Sullivan’s earliest surviving full-length collaboration?

The Sorcerer tells the story of the high-class Alexis’s fumbled attempts to make love “level all ranks” with the assistance of the sorcery and potions of J.W. Wells. Will Alexis’ ideals prevail, or will all return to the status quo after the hijinks that ensue? Unique in many respects from the rest of the G&S canon, The Sorcerer is essentially a mockery of classical opera, twisting its plot and musical tropes for comedic effect. “Novelty shows” of this type would become the basis for modern musical theatre.

We hope to see you next spring for HRG&SP’s 122nd production! Show dates are March 24-April 2. More information about specific performances and receptions will be coming soon!

 

With Joyous Shout

By Richard Tong

The curtains closed on our production of The Mikado a month ago, and since then things have been much quieter at HRG&SP. This post-show lull—too early to rehearse the next show, too late enjoy the fruits of the last—is precious to us in a number of ways. As well as allowing our sleeping patterns to return to a relatively respectable pattern and providing a much needed respite to catch up on neglected school work, this period of calm gives us time to take stock and reflect on The Mikado. Continue reading “With Joyous Shout”

Post-Show Rest and Looking Forward!

By Alexander J. Raun

 
After living in the theater for tech weeks and the run of The Mikado, the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players have spent the past week resting and catching up on a semester’s worth of school. However, with the closing of one show comes the opening of the next, and we have started initial preparations for The Sorcerer, which will take place in the spring semester! The dates for the show include the weekends of March 24th and March 31st, 2017. We hope to see you there!
Additionally, despite our week of rest, we somehow couldn’t resist the stage, and on Saturday, November 12th, we performed a few G&S numbers in the Hasty Pudding Theatricals annual Fall Variety Show! The songs came from HMS Pinafore, Ruddigore, and The Mikado. Performers in the HPT Fall show included Aaron Slipper ’18, Arianna Paz ’19, Richard Tong ’19, Jake Corvino ’19, Sydney Mukasa ’18, and Alex Raun ’17. Thank you to all who came out to support us, and we hope to perform in the show again next year!

Warming up for The Mikado

By Elena Sokoloski

The orchestra is warming up, the lights are coming on, and the actors can be heard warming up backstage.. tech week is underway! Backstage, the floor Horner Room is protected by a paint-speckled tarp as our paint team is working on the final touches on The Mikado hotel, orchestra members are marking the last of the cuts and transitions into their music, and in front of it all, our fearless stage and music directors are bringing it all together.

Programming outside the theater is also ramping up. We began last semester with a series of community conversations held both as a thermometer for student opinions towards our decision to stage the Mikado, and as an opportunity for members of the Harvard community to give their input on our staging of the show. This semester’s programming kicked off with a screening of the Mikado Project, and will be continuing in the following weeks with a series of teach-ins, talkbacks, and community discussions of the Mikado and its complicated racial history.

We’re in the final stretch of show prep, and look forward to sharing our hard work – both onstage and offstage – soon!

Mikado Load-In

By Michaela Kane
The Las Vegas Mikado hotel and casino is readying itself for its grand opening on October 28! The talented staff from all departments of HRG&SP have been tirelessly working in preparation for our Load-In Sunday. After The Scottish Play left the historic Agassiz theater, we swooped in and finished setting up larger set pieces, began painting some lovely Japanese screens, and set up all of the onstage lights. Time has been of the essence, so all of cast and staff will be working together in the coming weeks to paint the stage, build platforms, and get the stage set up and ready for business. With the dynamic trio: set designer Elizabeth Pattyn, light designer Kathleen Zhou ’16, and technical director Sabrina Yates ’19, we had an incredibly efficient and productive Load In, and we look forward to the weeks of tech ahead!
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Mikado Rehearsal Update!

By Arianna Paz

The fall weather is growing colder, which means we are getting closer and closer to the opening night of this fall’s production of The Mikado! The cast, staff, and orchestra have been busily rehearsing and preparing to bring Las Vegas to the Agassiz Stage in this creative setting for Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta.

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In most recent rehearsal news, sitzprobe was this past Sunday night!  The cast and orchestra finally got to rehearse together for the first time under the guidance of this fall’s music director, Sydney Mukasa.  The two groups sounded wonderful together, and the rehearsal went incredibly smoothly.  Stage director Zachary Mallory even joined in on the fun when he grabbed a score and sang along.  It was truly a treat to see that the hard work of both the cast and orchestra has really been paying off!

As rehearsals continue, both groups will be perfecting the patter songs until the curtain rises on October 28th!

Hello, Autumn!

By Allegra C. Caldera

Yesterday I picked up my first red-gold leaf off the sidewalk. Today, I cracked open a box of sweaters and contemplated re-introducing scarves to my wardrobe. There’s a crisp chill in the air, a beautiful New England fall on the way, and, of course, another HRG&SP production in the works. Our orchestra members are sight-reading their music; our designers are getting re-certified to work in the scene shop; and our cast, directors and stage manager and are already busily rehearsing. Together, they’re getting ready to create a refreshed and reinvented Mikado, with a new Las Vegas spin.

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Fall Evening outside of Agassiz Theater 

Maybe it’s because my first G&S show was a fall production of Pirates of Penzance, but I’ve always thought the red-velvet decor of the Ag fits perfectly with autumn. The smell of new sawdust and the laughter of sing-through go just right with the fall weather. So, as the leaves change and the chill begins to settle in, wish us luck with our preparations to bring laughter and light (opera) to Harvard Yard… and make sure to catch The Mikado at the end of October!

 

 

OPERATION: Seas the Day; or, the Pinafore Load In

Our ship has finally docked at the historic Agassiz Theater. Staff members from all departments have been working arduously over the last couple of weeks to prepare for our Load In. As we finally reached started to build in the theater yesterday, the cast and staff came together to assist with many of our large-scale build endeavors. Under the masterful leadership of our technical director, Katie Polik ’18, we were all able to come together and complete the installation of many of these key scenic elements.

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For the first time since the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert andSullivan Players’ 2012 production of The Mikado, we have once again raked the stage of the Agassiz Theater. Designed by Evan Schueckler ’15, this configuration offers a unique scenic perspective and will surely be something you will not want to miss!

Over the next week, our technical departments will continue to work hard to complete a bulk of their workload before spring break. Katie and our master carpenter, Raymond Ng ’17, will be working on decking the ship to convey a resounding maritime atmosphere. Our brilliant costume team of Julia Thomas ’17 and Katherine Smith ’18, with the assistance of Cassie Lowell ’17, will continue to bring this nautical chicness to life in the actors’ wardrobes. Additionally, Yasmin Yacoby ’19, our lighting designer, will have to refocus all the lights I bumped my head on at Load In to convey seafaring glow through her noteworthy lighting.

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Load In tech crew gives their “seal” of approval to the raked stage!

We are just over two weeks out from opening night, so be sure to order your tickets today!

 

Setting Sail with H.M.S. Pinafore

Written by Trevor Mullin

As we depart from our 1920s style Ruddigore, gears are in motion here at HRG&SP in preparation for H.M.S. Pinafore and our 60th anniversary this spring! As we welcome Peryn E. A. Reeves-Darby and Michaela J. Kane on Board, we are very excited for what next semester brings. With experience as both an actor and our most recent stage manager, Peryn has continually been a valuable member of our community. Likewise, Michaela’s previous technical experience and dedication to the organization provides a rewarding addition to our Board. We look forward to working with them more in the future!

As Pinafore is quickly approaching, we have also selected our director and music director for the upcoming semester. With the directorial prowess of Olivia Munk and musical expertise of Jacob Moscona-Skolnik, everyone is in for a high quality theatrical experience! 

With our highly-talented designers and technicians, we are very excited to once again transform the Agassiz stage into a nautical wonder! We hope everyone else is stoked for this upcoming project and keep an eye out for additional updates in the coming months! 

Again, if any alums are interested in being involved in Pinafore for our 60th anniversary, please reach out to the producers at pinaforeprods-2016@googlegroups.com. We would love to hear from you!