My experiences writing, directing and producing Christian musicals for kids through adults.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sponge-painting Fun

Here's a shot of Maggie sponge-painting our giant rock. We needed something large (over 5 feet in diameter) but very light since we'll have 4-foot angels moving it with just their fingers. It's stiff foam insulation, one of my favorite set design materials.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I love people who can sew!

I own a sewing machine, and I can take two pieces of material and run them under the needle and sew them together . . . but that doesn't mean I can sew. Therefore, when I have a show requiring 20 costumes to be made from scratch, or even sheets bought at Goodwill, I really, really appreciate my team of seamstresses! We had the kids try on all the costumes tonight and only 3 or 4 needed any adjustments, and minor ones at that. So, thank you to Dina, Jomo, Sharry and Melissa! You are awesome!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Getting Close

Today was Sunday, March 21, and the show is in two weeks.
Only two more weeks.

Costumes, sets, props, media, and the kids all have to come together to put this on. Costumes and props are due this Wednesday. Hopefully next Wednesday we'll have the sets painted, especially since the soldiers and the angels need practice moving the stone around.

Two more weeks.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Finale is Fini!

Maggie finished teaching the choreography of the final song last night. She and Megan did a great job coming up with moves for a cast of 19 kids to all dance together. They even had the kids do a move in three groups, like a wave going across the stage. And by total chance (or God's design), last night before the dancing I gave the guys, who were all in the back row, one line to sing together: "No one can hide it." That turned out to be the line on which the back row comes out to the front! How appropriate!

Swords made out of Shims? What a Sham!

I finished making the swords for the Easter show yesterday. They're Roman short swords, needing to be extra short because the tallest soldier we have is still under 5 feet tall. So, what wood should I use? I didn't want to take a 4-inch width piece of wood and cut it down, like I have before. My friend with the table saw is awfully busy these days. Looking around Home Depot, my eyes lit upon a package of shims. Yes, shims, those wedge-shaped pieces of wood used to adjust window and door frames. At 15 inches long, they are the perfect length, and hey, they already taper! I picked out the best shims (a few had holes), and glued two together for each sword.

After the glue had dried, I sanded them, then I cut the tips into a dull point. Now they were just pointy sticks. I experimented with both silver spray paint and chrome duct tape, finally deciding on the spray paint partly because their armor will have the same coating. Now it was time for the handle. If you look up images of Roman short swords online, you'll find two basic images: one with a hilt that looks like a cross between a T and a handlebar mustache; the other with a hilt that doesn't stick out much and is round like a collar. The first one is usually found at costume shops and toy places; the second is found at authentic Roman gear places. So that's the one I went for.

I used brown duct tape for the handle part, then black braid wrapped around multiple times for the hilt. They look pretty good. Now if I can only get the boys not to swordfight with them during the last few rehearsals!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I am a Rock - or I Made a Rock, and Blizzard Descends!

I spent my Saturday evening playing Scrabble and when it wasn't my turn, creating a 5-foot diameter rock.

It's a flat rock, and circular, as befitting the stone that rolled in front Jesus' grave -- and that the angels rolled away. Our angels are all under 5 feet high and the oldest is in 4th grade, so the rock has to be very light. Can't have angels straining at moving a mere 2-ton rock, right?

So the rock is made of flat styrofoam insulation, the kind you can buy at Home Depot for $8-12. I bought a sheet 8 foot by 4, drew a 5'4" circle on it, and started cutting with a long carving knife. What can I say, but it was the only snowstorm we've seen in Edmonds all year! Our living room carpet was covered in the static-clinging stuff, but thankfully I have a very good vacuum cleaner. (I figured better to do it inside where I can vacuum it all safely into a bag, than outside where it would float around our yard and the yards of our neighbors for months. Sure, we all like snow, but snow that melts is preferably to permanent 'snow'.)

The stone has a wider diameter than the width of the panel, so we used the ends to create flaps that are now duct-taped on. Hey, it actually rolls! Next job: to paint it.

Did I say before that we have very few props for this play? This stone is either a set piece or a very large prop. A snowy prop.