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Monday, July 19, 2010

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The Chautauquan Daily

Actors and members of the stage crew prepare for a performance of “you Can't take it With you.”

PhoTos bY emily Fox

d-Th s a behin CTC give

The Cro oked look aT e-sCenes

iT WiTh You’ Can ’T Take seT of ‘You

sTorY bY Kelly Petryszyn


Props from the set of CtC’s “you Can’t take it With you.”

rachel mewbron, who plays Alice sycamore, does yoga before a performance.

Fisher neal uses several types of gel to style his hair for his role as mr. Henderson.

Forced Perspective

An optical illusion used in stage scenery that creates a sense of depth in a 2-D object or painting.


If heard on stage in a theater, it means someone has dropped something from above that could hit you in the head. Watch out!


pon first glance of the “You Can’t Take It With You” set, audience members might think it appears a bit off. And it’s not because the Sycamore house is decorated with snakes, skulls, a deer head and five different types of wallpaper. It’s because the set is crooked — literally. The stage is actually raked, or built on an angle. And the actors are actually walking uphill and downhill as they travel across stage. Anytime the stage is not level, it is said to be raked, explained John Zuiker, Chautauqua Theater Company scenic design fellow. The rake for “You Can’t Take It With You” was built on top of the stage in Bratton Theater. For every foot the rake goes upstage, it rises three-fourths of an inch. There will be a behind-the-scenes tour of the “You Can’t Take It With You” set at 2:15 p.m. today at Bratton Theater for those interested in learning more about the rake and other scenic elements in the play. Production manager Joe Stoltman said that Todd Proffitt, CTC director of operations, will talk about the history of Bratton Theater, and CTC design fellows will discuss design aspects of the show. If the crowd is small enough, it can tour backstage as well, Stoltman said. Originally, all stages were raked because the angle of the stage allowed the audience members, who sat on a flat surface, to see what was happening, Zuiker said. Eventually, the seating area for the audience became raked and the stages became flat. The terms “downstage” and “upstage” originated from the raked stage, he said. That’s why downstage is toward the audience — because the actors were actually walking downstage as they moved forward. The same applies with upstage: It is located at the end of the stage, away from the audience. Director Paul Mullins, along with guest set designer Lee Savage, chose the raked stage because it complements the unique characteristics of the Sycamore family, Mullins said. “We wanted it to be a real place, but we wanted that place to be theatrical like that family,” he said. Zuiker added that the rake helps portray that something is off in the Sycamore house because “a rake offers a less literal version of the world.” The rake helped the designers make the basement in the Sycamore house seem more realistic, as the actors have to walk down stairs to step off the stage. A raked stage is rare in theater today, perhaps because there are many challenges a rake poses. Zuiker said the rake can sometimes cause actors pain, such as knee pain. This is less of a problem for “You Can’t Take It With You.” Since the run of the play is short, the actors’ bodies can withstand the trauma for a short period of time. The most extreme rake Stoltman ever worked with was built for a nine-week production of “The Winter’s Tale” — the stage was raked 1 3/4 inches over a foot. “It was brutal,” he said. “It was bad for just the crew to walk on it. It was a brutal, brutal rake. … It’s difficult for actors to deal with that kind of stuff.” Aside from actors, raked stages pose challenges with moving set pieces. Zuiker said it is difficult to have moving sets because the wheels on the set pieces tend to roll. To stop this, designers have to ensure that the wheels on moving set pieces are locked. One piece that needs special treatment in “You Can’t Take It With You” is the xylophone. It has to be level for Ed to play it, so it needed to be counter-raked. Despite the challenges it presents, the designers knew the raked stage was the right choice for the CTC production. “You make the choice for a very specific reason, and oftentimes the limitations are outweighed by the reason you make the choice,” Zuiker said.

Photo: Emily Fox

Photographers @

The Chautauquan Daily Chautauqua, New York

A figure illustrating the “you Can’t take it With you” set

Julia ogilvie has her hair curled for her role as essie Carmichael.

A crew member assembles the set before a performance.


Stage left, stage right

Terms from the actor’s vantage point onstage. As audience members facing the stage watch actors travel right, the actors are actually on stage left. Vice versa for stage right.


The arch that is in front of the stage.

“In a media world virtually atomized by electronic devices, a world taken over by commentators and gossips of every stripe, the Daily gives you well-grounded, comprehensive coverage of ideas you care about at considerable length.” — C. Fraser Smith “Extra! Extra! Back to the future of newspapers” The Baltimore Sun, August 28, 2005

source: Production manager Joe stoltman

The Chautauquan Daily, official newspaper of Chautauqua Institution, is seeking photography interns for the 2011 summer season. The internship runs from June 14 to Aug. 26. The Daily is a 12-30 page broadsheet newspaper that is published six days per week for nine weeks. Publication dates are Monday through Saturday, June 25—Aug. 27.

PHOTO by greg FuNka

The Chautauquan Daily

Prolonged exposure of a full moon rising over Chautauqua Lake

The Official Newspaper of Chautauqua Institution | Tuesday, July 27, 2010

— grant Cooper, guest conductor

by Jack Rodenfels Staff writer With projects spanning five continents and more than 30 years of experience, photojournalist Ed Kashi will portray his passion for photography at 10:45 a.m. today in the Amphitheater, where he aims to educate and inspire Chautauquans to take interest in sociopolitical plights around the world. Kashi will touch on some of his projects that he is most passionate about — including documenting the experiences of people living in the Kurdish area in Northern Iraq, the negative impact of the oil industry on the Niger Delta region, modernization in India, and the lives of rural villagers in Madagascar. “It’s going to be a mixture of very serious issues — both geopolitical in nature and issues close to home,” Kashi said. Close to home, Kashi will discuss “Aging in America” — an eight-year project completed in 2003 which launched a traveling exhibition, an award-winning documentary film, a website and a book which was honored as one of the top photo books of 2003 by American Photo. “My goal with ‘Aging in America’ was to paint the portrait of what America will deal with, in the near future,” Kashi explained. “I tried to create a timeless body of work for what I consider one of the pressing issues of our lifetimes.” Kashi, a self-described

Daily file photo

Guest conductor Grant Cooper gestures to the violins during “overture: Aotearoa,” a piece from Cooper’s homeland of new Zealand in Cso concert earlier this season.

Same ocean, different shores CSO performs recent composition set to poetry

Four photographers will be hired. Photographers work six days each week. Assignments will include: morning and afternoon lectures (some well-known speakers ranging from senators to astronauts); evening performances (some well-known entertainers); operas and plays; shots requested by reporters; shots requested by the Institution Relations department; the occasional early morning assignment; and a variety of feature photos (kids, nature, etc.). T

by Kathleen Chaykowski | Staff writer

he sun is setting, glistening silver and yellow. You are standing in the sea, and waves wash up around your legs. You sway slightly, and your toes dig deeper into the sand. You wonder where these waves come from, where the energy starts. Looking back at the shore, you see it is merely a crust. The ocean is the larger living space, and you are part of it now, connected to all other shores, all other people, through the droplets at your feet. If you can imagine the ocean, the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s concert at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater will bring you to a familiar place. The concert features a special piece: soprano Janet Brown singing “A Song of Longing, Though …” with words by Tom Beal and music by guest conductor Grant Cooper. See Cso, Page 4


In teaching young vocalists, Shicoff is giving back by paying it forward

by Beth Ann Downey Staff writer

Neil Shicoff wants to start giving back, to both the people who taught him in the past and those who will give themselves to the future of his art form. Shicoff, a renowned vocalist and actor who boasts a 35year international career in opera and performance, will

arrive on the grounds today and spend the next several days working with students in shicoff the Voice Program. Shicoff shares a common bond with the students, hav-

ing also studied closely with Voice Chair Marlena Malas in the beginning of his career. He described Malas as both an “enlightened spirit” and a “fantastic technician,” adding that she helped carry him through many roles, as well as many different life experiences. See shICoff, Page 4

TodAy’s WeATher

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“visual storyteller,” since 1979, has had work published in various publications, including Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, Time, and MediaStorm, and had five books published. Perhaps Kashi’s most recognized work includes his work in Niger for National Geographic Magazine. Chronicling the negative effects of oil development in the impecunious Niger Delta region, Kashi’s work led to a photographic and editorial essay book, Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta. “It’s always about raising awareness, touching people’s hearts, opening their minds and moving them to think,” Kashi explained of his sociopolitical journalistic work. “I try to illuminate stories that I feel people need to know more about, or bring up issues that people don’t know anything about.” See KAshI, Page 4

Mahoney to discuss ethics behind photography in the auction house by Laura McCrystal Staff writer The most expensive photograph Sotheby’s ever sold went for $2.9 million; it was Edward Steichen’s “The Pond — Moonlight.” Christopher Mahoney, senior vice president of Sotheby’s photograph department, does not cite this

number to brag about the high cost, but rather to demonstrate that there is Mahoney a serious fine arts market for photography, just as exists for paintings

The Daily online is all Chautauqua, all the time — view select stories from the print edition, plus big, beautiful photos and plenty of exclusive multimedia content.

Photo: Rachel Kilroy

Volume CXXXIV, Issue 27 Chautauqua, New York 50¢

Photographer Kashi raises awareness with visual storytelling

In the case of love, how many of us have looked up at the moon and thought that our loved one could look up at the moon at the same moment?

Together in communion

Musicians in training

Chautauquans gather for ecumenical service

Chautauqua Music Camps return for 12th season

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and other art forms. In this respect, Mahoney said his Interfaith Lecture today at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy will be “intriguingly different” for the Chautauqua Institution audience. His lecture is titled “Photography in the Auction House: a Discussion of Ethics.” See MAhoney, Page 4 WWW.ChQdAILy.CoM

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Photographers are encouraged to provide their own digital equipment, though two cameras and lenses are available for the staff. Photographers are expected to write their own captions, paying special attention to names, children’s ages, etc.

Photo: Greg Funka

Photo: Tim Harris

Photo: Greg Funka

Candidates should have experience in Adobe Photoshop. Experience in color correction and toning images is helpful. For more information, contact Matt Ewalt at 716-357-6434 or To apply, send a resume, the names of at least three references and samples of your work to the e-mail above or to Matt Ewalt, Daily editor, PO Box 28, Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, NY 14722.

Photo: Tim Harris

Photo: Emily Fox

Art speaks louder with words Anthony Bannon reviews Strohl exhibition Page 13

daily info sheet2011_photog  

Information on The Chautauquan Daily's photographer positions.

daily info sheet2011_photog  

Information on The Chautauquan Daily's photographer positions.