Theater instructors discuss completion of Performing Arts Center
Jake Bender - Staff Writer
October 7, 2012
Filed under News
With the new theater almost complete, the Courier talks with both Brian Ludmer and Bill Garett about their hopes for the future.
New Stagecraft Manager Brian Ludmer
Q: What is your official position?
A: I am the technical director and the stagecraft manager.
Q: What are some of your past experiences as a technical director?
A: I studied technical theater in college at the University of Illinois and after six years, I moved out to California to assume a position at California State University at Long Beach, where I worked in the theater department and taught stagecraft.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about the new theater?
A: It is all very exciting. The buildings are up to professional standards in every way, and I am excited to expose that to the students here at CHS. In the near future the new facilities are going to help step up the program tremendously, and I am very interested in making the most of the many new educational opportunities.
Q: What do you think will be the greatest challenge of using the new theater?
A: I think the greatest challenge will be the overall adjustment to how things have operated in previous years. It’s a totally new entity to all the students involved, but it is a challenge everybody is looking forward to meeting.
Q: What part do you enjoy most about the job?
A: I like interacting with the students and introducing them to things they may have never experienced. I just love the art.
Q: Is there a specific feature of the new theater that you are most excited about?
A: There are so many features. I think the black box theater is really cool but the main stage is absolutely amazing.
Q: What is your impression of the CHS theater department thus far?
A: I am very impressed by the Calabasas theater department. For a public high school theater program, the dedication I have witnessed is unprecedented in terms of student and staff commitment, resources and community and parent support.
Performing Arts Director Bill Garrett
Q: What is your official position?
A: I am the theater director and one of the ASB advisors.
Q: What will be the first production in the new theater?
A: We are having the opening gala on Jan. 25 and 26 during which each program– theater, music and dance–will be performing different shows. The first musical we are putting on is West Side Story in the spring.
Q: In what ways do you think the new performing arts center will improve CHS productions?
A: In past years people would come into our theater and think, “Oh, this ought to be good.” Now people will walk into this beautiful facility and get excited about the theater; in turn, they will get excited about what is going on on-stage. There are also so many technical capabilities. For instance, there is an actual pit for the band so they won’t be blocking any of the view, and the acoustics are amazing. The theater also has a full fly space so the technical equipment that we will be able to use will be much better what we have used in the past.
Q: The new theater is a massive space. Do you think making the transition from the old theater to the new one will intimidate students?
A: Well, we designed the space to be really flexible. The main stage theater can be changed to a 250 seat capacity from its normal 650 seat capacity. Even though it seats 650 people, the space was designed to be really intimate, so I do not think it will be too intimidating to students.
Q: What are some shows you would like to do in the new theater?
A: We want to do shows that will take advantage of the technical capabilities of our new home. We plan to continue to do shows that challenge us as artists, captivate our audiences and make us proud of the productions we have staged.
Compiled by Jake Bender – Staff Writer