Kirkland Performance Center – Orchestra Pit and Theatre Info

DSC00888.jpgLast weekend was my first time conducting at the Kirkland Performance Center in Kirkland, Wa. I led a 14 piece orchestra for Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest production of Annie Get Your Gun. The show had previously run for three weeks at McIntyre Hall in Mount Vernon, WA – so the whole set was moved over to the Kirkland PAC. Visit the Kirkland Performance Center website for more info and technical specs.
Kirkland Performance Center has a very intimate feel. It seats 402 in 13 rows with a house rake of 3 feet horizontal to 1 foot vertical. Distance from back row to front of house is 40 feet.

The orchestra pit is mainly situated underneath the front of the stage. We had the lid down on the sides of the pit and I would conduct from a roughly 6×6 hole at the front of the stage. Took a little bit to get used to. I am six feet tall and my eyes just about matched the bottom of the stage – so watching the pit below and keeping track of stage action was quite a lot like wearing bi-focal glasses.

The downside with the limited room was that I didn’t get a panorama view of the orchestra and stage, so aesthetically was lacking a bit. But for functionality it worked fine. A couple spots I had to lean to one side to conduct certain groups like a couple male choruses that needed clear visual direction. And was a little awkward when actors were at the very front of the stage, because I was looking at their toes. My cues had to be very high, don’t know if it was distracting for the audience or not.

For any downside caused by the limited square footage, it was made up for by the control of the audio and the intimacy of the room. Because the orchestra was completely covered like in a sound booth, the audio engineer was able to have greater control over the final mix. It was also a lot of fun to be so close to the audience – I think myself and the cast really connected with the audience interaction,

Backstage was well equipped with four dressing rooms, ample rest rooms, a main “green room” and laundry facility. The sound system at Kirkland PAC was very good. Overall I enjoyed our run in Kirkland very much. A very nice concert hall that this Eastside community should be proud of.

The staff at the Kirkland Performance Center is very professional and friendly, well stocked refreshments available before show and at intermission, and the lobby is very classy and clean. Seats are comfortable. Only side aisles for seating, no center aisle.

I just read a blog posting by the Cowboy Junkies who said they loved their double header shows at the Kirkland Performance Center – it is well suited for both stage shows and band performances.

Our full orchestra at McIntyre Hall was 18 pieces, we downsized to 12 for the Kirkland run. I would roughly estimate the maximum number of players for this orchestra pit to be about 15 people, maybe a couple more if they don’t take up too much space, like clarinets or flute.
Outside front view of Kirkland PAC

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Outside Ticke Booth

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Outside billboard at Kirkland PAC

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Three visitors peering into the pit conductor’s podium

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View during show looking up from conductor’s podium

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Inside front doors of theatre lobby
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Looking down at stage at top entrance of theatre

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Front of audience, standing peering into orchestra pit, sides closed
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Bottom corner of theatre looking across theatre seating, seats 402

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Curtains from conductor’s podium
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Down in the orchestra pit

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Part of the Annie Get Your Gun orchestra between shows at
TGIFriday’s, a couple blocks from theatre.
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Orchestra pit dimensions: Width: 40
Depth: 15
Height: 9

Annie Get Your Gun – Irving Berlin – Cast List

ANNIE GET YOUR GUN 2006
Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest
Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields

Directed by Brenda Mueller
Produced by Leslie Asplund
Assoc. Producer/Stage Manager – Ursula Schroepfer
Choreography – Stacy Lazanis
Orchestra Conducted by Conrad Askland
Chorus Mistress – Lyrica Mueller

Scenery Design by Robert Little
Scenery originally designed and built for
Utah Festival Opera Company

McIntyre Hall July 14-30, 2006
Kirkland Performance Center July 4-13, 2006

Presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals
www.rnhtheatricals.com

CAST (in order of appearance)
Charlie Davenport – Ryan Edwards
Dolly Tate – Sarah Simmons
Mac – Jordan Otruba
Little Girl – Anna Jenny
Mrs. Little Horse – Debbie Wolf
Little Sparrow – Abigail Wolf
Townspeople – Ann Nelson, Christine Wolf, Kelly Pollino, Tom Mueller, Luke Thompson
Cowboys and Indians – Anna Jenny, Christine Wolf, Jonathan Wolf, Sterling Mueller
Bad, Bad Man Girls – Claire Kidd, Lynette Cole, Natalie Howell, Sarah Howell, Sarah Jenny, Stacy Lazanis, Elisa Fuller, Ashley Rinas

Foster Wilson – Jim Otruba
Frank Butler – Kevin Pitman
Annie Oakley – Lyrica Mueller
Little Kate – Kristina Howell
Minnie – Ali Rinas
Mary – Susie Pollino
Nellie – Tisha Romero
Jessie – Leanna Crawford
Colonel William F. Cody – Ric Shallow / Carl K. Turner
Cowboys/Indians in Train – Debbie Wolf, Abigail Wolf, Christine Wolf, Jonathan Wolf, Sarah Howell, Sterling Mueller
Indian with Banana – Tom Mueller
Train Conductor – Bob Cole
Moonshine Lullaby – Bob Cole, Jordan Otruba, Luke Thompson, Ric Shallow, Ryan Edwards, Carl K Turner
Pawnee Bill – Harold Page
Chief Sitting Bull – Kevin Cobley

Spirit of Sitting Bull’s Daughter (Standing Holy) – Stacy Lazanis
Messenger – Luke Thompson
Mrs. Potter-Porter – Kris Hemenway
Mrs. Adams – Kelly Pollino
Debutantes – Ann Nelson, Ashley Rinas, Claire Kidd, Lynette Cole, Natalie Howell, Sarah Jenny, Sarah Howell

Featured Ballroom Dancers – Elisa Fuller, Luke Thompson, Stacy Lazanis, Ryan Edwards

PRODUCTION TEAM
Lighting Design – Steven Craig
Sound Design – Kyle Blevins
Costumes – Ramona Cooley, Darlene Kingma, Lyrica Mueller
Props – Sally Simmons, Sarah Simmons
Makeup/Hair – Ric Shallow, Wendy Howell, Natalie Howell
Graphics/Web Design – Debbie Wolf
Banner Photography – Eric Callies Photography
Marketing Team – Debbie Wolf, Ric Shallow, Kris Hemenway
Stage Manager – Ursula Schroepfer
Assistants to Stage Manager – Claire Kidd, Natalie Howell
Fly Captain – Dave Mumford
Firearms Handling – Bob Cole
Crew – John Hepola, Scott Cole, Bob Schroepfer, Jonathan Norris

Annie Get Your Gun – Orchestra Pit Musicians Photos

IMG_0722.jpgHere are photos from the orchestra pit at McIntyre Hall (Mount Vernon, WA) for the Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest production of Irving Berlin’s “Annie Get Your Gun”. Produced by Leslie Asplund, Directed by Brenda Mueller and conducted by Conrad Askland.

2006 ANNIE GET YOUR GUN MUSICIANS:
Flute I – Alicia Jackson
Flute II – Lorie Wooldridge
Flute sub – Stephanie Bethea
Oboe – Rebecca Wright
Clarinet I – Ashley Hall
Clarinet II – Darian Asplund
Clarinet sub – Michelle Hanna
Trumpet I – Cindy Luna
French Horn – AJ Brodin
French Horn – Jim Gaudette
Trombone I – Brian Bernethy
Trombone II – David Andersson
Drums – Dean Bunnell
Bass – William Maxwell
Cello – Kathryn Murray
Cello – Sharon Sparling
Guitar – Paul Hixson
Harp – Christy Swartz
Keyboard I – Ruth Haines
Keyboard II – Lauren Lippens
Conductor – Conrad Askland

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My favorite element about this particular group was the mix of seasoned musicians and young players. What a great way for young musicians to learn, and for seasoned players to share their experience!

Skagit Herald: Shooting for the perfect show

Story by BEVERLY CRICHFIELD / Photos by FRANK VARGA

New theatre company makes big debut with classic musical

MOUNT VERNON — Who was the real Annie Oakley?

agyg2.jpg Lyrica Mueller is having a tough time combining aspects of the real Quaker sharpshooter from the late 1800s with the wide-eyed, perky stage persona conveyed in Irving Berlin’s colorful musical “Annie Get Your Gun.�

“She was kind of shy and quiet, but she was a strong, independent woman,� Mueller said, while gluing a piece of ribbon to a blouse she plans to wear during Lyric Light Opera’s production of “Annie Get Your Gun,� set to open Friday night at McIntyre Hall.

Mueller, a veteran of the stage and a musician, has been reading Oakley’s memoirs and any other information about the orphaned girl named Pheobe Ann Moses, who made her way from a life of abuse and poverty to working with the famous Buffalo Bill Wild West Show as a sharpshooting entertainer.

While Oakley, nicknamed “Little Sure Shot,� was considered a woman light years ahead of her time, she also was a surprisingly modest woman who marched to promote Victorian-era morals. The paradox is intriguing to Mueller.“I want to respect the woman as she was,� Mueller said, thoughtfully. “She was a great combination of a modern-day feminist, but she was a very Victorian woman.�

agyg1.jpg Mueller and the rest of the 30-member cast spent Monday evening getting familiar with the elaborate set of the show that runs July 14-30 at McIntyre Hall.

“Annie Get Your Gun� is the first production of the newly formed Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest. Former Northwest Civic Light Opera partner Barbara Mueller founded the new theatre company after Northwest Civic Light Opera dissolved in February. It had been operating just two years before it folded.

Barbara Mueller, director of the show, said she wanted to create a theatre company that would not only produce high-quality, family oriented entertainment, but also provide budding actors a place to learn the ins and outs of theatre — from the sound, lights and sets to music, dancing and portraying characters of all kinds.

“I believe that theater affects the people on the stage so very much,� Mueller said. “We can make such a difference in a person’s life by taking them through the process of a show.�

Mueller didn’t spare expense or energy for “Annie.� The production, which includes colorful Western-style sets from the Utah Festival Opera Company, a large cast of all ages, elaborate costumes, marketing, a 15-piece orchestra and booking of McIntyre Hall, is expected to cost about $75,000.

Mueller said the biggest challenge so far has been coming up with money for the show and other expenses, and bringing in experienced volunteers to produce and act in the shows.

But many actors from the Northwest Civic Light Opera followed Mueller to work with her new theatre company.

Rick Shallow of Camano Island had portrayed Von Schreiber in the Northwest Civic Light Opera’s 2005 production of “The Sound of Music.� In “Annie,’ he’s playing the worldly wise icon of American entertainment, Buffalo Bill Cody, who operated the famous “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show� in the later half of the 1800s.

“Buffalo Bill was America’s first superstar,� Shallow said, after rehearsing possibly one of the best known tunes from a musical, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.� But Buffalo Bill also was the glue that held the entertainers together, Shallow added. They looked up to him and admired him. He treated them well, and reportedly even paid the women and men performers equally for their work.

While reading up on Buffalo Bill in history books and on the Internet, Shallow discovered that Bill had been in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment — the same regiment that his son is now serving in, although it’s now called the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

Shallow’s son helped outfit him with an authentic old-style cavalry hat, sword and spurs.

While Shallow said portraying Bill isn’t a challenge, Sarah Simmons of Burlington had to look for just the right inspiration for her jealous and insecure character, Dolly Tate.

Dolly was set to be the big female sharpshooter of the Wild West show until Annie came along, said Simmons, whose resume includes many performances with the local Theatre Arts Guild. So Dolly tries to undermine Annie whenever she can, Simmons said.

“I’ve been thinking about how to make her likable,� Simmons said, laughing. “I think of Karen Walker on ‘Will and Grace.’ Yeah, she’s scheming and mean and a lush, but she’s fun.�

And fun is what the show is about, said producer Leslie Asplund.

“It’s a very joyous, sweet, simple show,� Asplund said. “For our first show, we wanted to do something that celebrates love and humility, and this was it.�

WHAT Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest’s production of the Irving Berlin classic musical “Annie Get Your Gun.�

WHEN 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, July 14-15, 21-22, 28-29; 2 p.m. Sundays, July 16 and 23.

WHERE McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon

COST $20-$30

Annie Get Your Gun – July-August 2006

Presented by Lyric Light Opera of the Northwest. Directed by Brenda Mueller and Produced by Leslie Asplund.

Coming to McIntyre Hall, Mount Vernon, WA!
Fri Sat Shows are evening – Sunday shows are matinee

July 14-16, 2006
July 21-23, 2006
July 28-30, 2006
Fri & Sat 7:30pm – Sun 2pm

For ticket information:
Please call (360) 416-7727
www.mcintyrehall.org

Coming to Kirkland Performance Center!

August 4-6, 2006
August 11-13, 2006
Sat Aug 5th and Sat Aug 6th also have 2pm Matinees
Fri & Sat 8pm – Sun 2pm

For ticket information:

Please call (425) 893-9900
www.kpcenter.org

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MUSICIANS: Check here for updates and rehearsal schedule.
1) Musicians need to wear all black clothing for shows.
2) Musicians need clip-on music stand lights, stands will be provided.
ORCHESTRA REHEARSALS
June 27 Tuesday 6pm – Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church – All music
(MV Presbyterian is located at 15th and Broadway in Mt. Vernon –
across from Skagit Valley Hospital)
*CHANGED* July 3 Monday 6pm – Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church
July 6 Thursday 6pm-10pm – Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church
*NEW* July 7 Friday 6pm – Orchestra Mt. Vernon Presbyterian
Mon-Tue July 10-22 6pm – Load in at McIntyre Hall – Conrad will be there both nights.
*(This added rehearsal is not contracted, hope all will attend if possible. We will be in the orchestra pit)
July 12 Wednesday – Dress Rehearsal 6pm McIntyre Hall
July 13 Thursday – Dress Rehearsal 6pm McIntyre Hall
August 3 Thursday – Dress Rehearsal 6pm Kirkland Performance Center

*NOTE* We will have additional matinees on Sat Aug 5th and Sat. Aug 12th 2pm

MUSICIANS INFO FOR KIRKLAND RUN:

Here’s info on the upcoming Kirkland run of AGYG. This is just for musicians contracted for Kirkland, in other words all musicians that have signed a contract.

Kirkland Performing Arts Center Website:

Home


350 Kirkland Ave.
Kirkland, WA 98033
Box Office: 425.893.9900

Here is a mapquest.com link for directions

DIRECTIONS FROM MOUNT VERNON:
Take I-5 South
Merge onto I-405 S via EXIT 182 toward BELLEVUE / RENTON.12.2 miles
8:Take the N.E. 85TH ST. exit- EXIT 18- toward KIRKLAND. 0.4 miles
9: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto NE 85TH ST / WA-908. 0.4 miles
10: Turn LEFT onto 6TH ST. 0.1
11: Turn RIGHT onto KIRKLAND WAY.0.1 miles
12: Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto KIRKLAND AVE. 0.1 miles
13: End at 350 Kirkland Ave
Kirkland, WA 98033-6221, US

DATES TO BE IN KIRKLAND:
August 3, 6pm – SOUND CHECK AND DRESS REHEARSAL
August 4, 8:00 PM
August 5, 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM
August 6, 2:00 PM
August 11, 8:00 PM
August 12, 2:00 PM & 8:00 PM
August 13, 2:00 PM
Adults $25.00Â Sr $20.00 Youth $18.00

Please arrange carpools if needed while we are at McIntyre.