In 2004, I bought my first digital SLR camera and started taking photos of my husband's rehearsals for a stage production of The Hobbit. I was hooked on photographing theater from then on. It has taken various forms over the years. From photographing the actors in the midst of the production, to soaking in the set and creating creative photos like this one from The Libertine:
I took a break from theater photography to focus on other things, most of which has been published on this blog. I returned in 2012, when I took a roll in my husband's production of Stop Kiss.
What I had learned in the years off was that it is tough to get people in theater seats. This breaks my heart. I love movies, I really do, but stage is an inspiring medium that everyone should experience, often. So, why don't more people go? It's a question that has spurned many articles and discussions, with no resolution, at least for now. All I know, is that I can do my part by creating dynamic images that get people's attention. I believe the image should match what I feel when I am in the audience.
This is why I research the production and what has been done on the topic - even if it isn't a stage production. I was recently asked to photograph a new production of Marie Antoinette: Color of Flesh. I had read the script and loved it. The tone and themes were similar to that of Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette movie. I used the movie and the scenes from the script as inspiration for a shot list and photo session.
Back Alley Productions always puts a tremendous effort on costuming and staging their shows. Just look at that photo from Libertine! Marie Antoinette: Color of Flesh is no exception. I was in awe of the costumes and set pieces they had put together for the photo shoot. Wait until you see the set! The script is fabulous as well. Joel Gross’s intriguing play about the infamous Queen blends fact with imagination in this dramatic love triangle set during the turbulent years around the French Revolution.
Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun, a beautiful, social-climbing portrait painter, uses her affair with Count Alexis de Ligne, a left-leaning philanderer, to get a commission to paint the naive young Queen Marie Antoinette. While Elisa uses the Queen to further her career and Alexis uses the Queen to further his political goals, both learn to love the woman they’re exploiting. Elisa becomes the Queen’s best friend, and Alexis becomes the Queen’s lover. Elisa tries to end the scandalous affair between the Queen and Alexis, both out of concern for the Queen’s political position and jealousy over Alexis’ love, until the Revolution shatters all three of their lives.
Make sure you catch the show May 9th through 25th at The Players' Ring. It will not disappoint!