By the 2019-2020 Apprentice Class

Hi everyone! Philip here. It’s already that time of year again – our fantastic apprentices are busy preparing their capstone for you! You’ve seen their work on and off stage all season long. But what you may not know is that apprentices always tackle the design elements (Lights, Costumes, Etc.) for their show as well. We caught up with this year’s class to see how their process has been going!

Jodi Rushing – Stage Manager/Lighting Design

Jodi Rushing and Brandt Roberts oversee rehearsal of The Fox
Jodi runs a rehearsal alongside director Brandt Roberts.

I wanted to do this show because it addresses a very real issue.  I think there needs to be more awareness and discussion about toxic/abusive relationships.  I’ve had a very mixed experience when it comes to producing this show.  There have been moments where it has been a little difficult to work on this show because of my personal experience with toxic/abusive relationships, but those are also the moments that reinforces how much this story needs to be told.  I have learned so much about lighting design throughout this process and am excited for our audiences to see all of our hard work!”

Matthew Donahue – Scenic Design

Apprentice Matt Donahue prepares the set of The Fox
Matthew putting some finishing touches on the set.

So far, this experience has been challenging yet ever so rewarding. As an actor, Henry has been such a complex character to bring to life. At the end of the day, all he wants is to live freely, on his own terms – something we can all connect with. This is my first experience designing a set. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for two very specific people. The first is our director and my mentor here at the Commonweal, Brandt Roberts. He has helped me through every step of this process, and instead of doing things for me, he taught me so that I was able to do them myself. The second would be Norb Kelly, a local Master Carpenter, and supporter of the Commonweal who has helped me build this entire set, while teaching me little tips and tricks along the way. The support system here at the Commonweal is absolutely wonderful, and that includes our blog readers, so thank YOU!”

Caroline Hawthorne – Sound/Props Design

Caroline Hawthorne working on sound for The Fox
Caroline continues to fine tune the Sound Design.

I wanted to do ‘The Fox’ because even though it takes place Post World War 1, it feels so modern. It tackles toxic masculinity, LGBTQ issues, as well as pandemic. It leaves people with more questions than it does answers. However, I believe when D.H. Lawrence wrote the novella the play was based on, he did not want to provide solutions to the problems presented… all he wanted was for people to think. I hope whoever sees it will be immersed in the world we create, and will leave the theatre reflecting not only on the world around them, but on themselves. I’m feeling good about my sound design. The goal of this sound design is to make it realistic. It needs to be embedded in the story, rather than its own separate entity. I have also been working on props (I am baking bread for this show… wish me luck), and learning to play the 12-string harp.”

Alicia Ehleringer – Costume Design

Alicia Ehleringer distressing a costume for The Fox
Alicia works her magic on a costume piece.

Producing the apprentice show has taught me so much! Working side by side with our team, we really have learned how to recognize our strengths and areas of improvement. It has opened my eyes up to exactly how much time and energy goes into the production elements, and has created a new found appreciation for each and every person that dedicates themselves to making a show great! I have loved working as the costume designer for ‘The Fox’! This is my first experience seeing my own design be brought to life and it has proved to be very rewarding. My favorite part has been working on the intricate details that give the costumes stories and history.” 

Don’t miss all of their hard work. Come see the apprentices and their designs in action when The Fox begins performances on March 13th. For Tickets —> Performance Calendar

Leave a Reply