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From Emma – Photo Shoot

June 2, 2017

For a number of reasons, we ended up having to re-shoot promo photos for the upcoming production of Fresh Voices, our annual apprentice showcase. This was about three weeks ago, three weeks before Joe and Sabrina would take the stage– which they’ll do tonight– with their original works-in-progress in a showcase of their own.

The photo shoot ended up happening on the loading dock of Zoellner Arts Center, after our annual Young Playwrights’ Festival & Gala. Sabrina wore her gala dress, a flowery affair in black, white, and red. Joe wore stagehand clothes and some sweet eyeliner that he’d had on from playing an Egyptian Guard in the Festival performance. There were giggles and ridiculous dramatic expressions and accidental artful backlighting and handstands.

And to me, this photo shoot kind of encapsulated what makes Sabrina and Joe so wonderful. It was the end of a long, busy day– in the midst of a long busy week, month, spring, year– and there could easily have been annoyance, resentment, or at least an underlying current of “Let’s hurry up, please – it’s eleven o’clock, and I’m working on two hours of sleep and two slices of pizza, and I wanna go home,” but there was none of that. They were completely chill, patient, willing to play. They never seemed to run out of steam. It was giggles and handstands, all the way.

Every apprentice year is a learning experience, for both apprentices and ensemble.  Every year, the apprentices bring particular skills or gifts that set them apart from those that have come before. And don’t get me wrong, Joe and Sabrina are both incredibly talented performers, but I think that what’s impressed me the most about them this year is their ability to do the work– and work hard– without being daunted by the enormity of the work. This is the job of being an artist, and they were going to do it, always moving forward. Cleanup around the theatre? Absolutely. Engineer a costume fix? You got it. No snark. No refusal. Giggles and handstands.

Tonight and tomorrow, the apprentices take the stage for Fresh Voices. Tonight, the show is followed by a celebratory reception for the apprentices; and tomorrow night, they’ll have a post-show talkback with the audience. Hope you can join us.

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