Raise the Royalties

BAT must pay the royalties for the Holiday show “Bob’s Office Holiday Party” and the musical, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” dollar-signby November 1, 2014. The royalties are steep! Please help Bat raise the royalties. Donate today and join the production team!

Two BAT donors have agreed to match your donation, so your good deed will go twice as far. The first $10,000.00 donated before the last performance of “Out of Sterno,” on October 19, 2014, will be matched!

So far, BAT donors have given $5,621.44, all of which will be matched. (Last updated October 14, 2014)

Please make theater happen. DONATE ONLINE, or send your check to BAT, P.O. Box 48121, Burien ,WA 98166.

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First design meeting for “Bob’s Office Holiday Party”

Last night was the first designer meeting for “Bob’s Holiday Office Party.” It was great fun. The designers are full of ideas and the show is on its way. I know, the current production “Out of Sterno” is not even over quite yet. There is just one weekend left. Get tickets HERE.

At the deign meeting we heard from Albie the set designer. His drawings got us all excited and ready to start the build. There are some tweaks to be made, but wow.

Cyndi is all over the props. We are all looking in our basements and garages for those hard to find items. If we don’t have them, then BAT will ask its volunteers. If still no, then on to the rest of the world.

Allan is composing a original music for the show. We got a chance to see a little of it. (Saw the score, that is.)

As a very special treat, it looks as though some of this will be played live. Can’t wait to see if that comes true.

We all also got a lesson on composing and music theory. Not to much, but enough to see where Allan’s design is heading.

Everyone added their thoughts and even those without full presentations were offering suggestions and support.

Overseeing all of this was Iisah, the director. He shared his vision, but gave the designers room to create. It appeared though that everyone was on the same page, if not the same line.

Long and short, before one project is done (“Out of Sterno”), another is underway. As the production company, that is just the way BAT likes it. As a BAT-fan you should be smiling too.

When this many talented people gather in one room, the energy if palpable, and the show will be great.

It not too early to secure your tickets HERE.

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A Photographer’s view

A view from a a photographer.  Sharing his blog.

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“Out of Sterno” photos!

Take a look at photos from “Out of Sterno” HERE.

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“Out of Sterno” music

BAT has gotten a number of positive comments about the music in “Out of Sterno.” It is all web-art-Sternopart of what is often called sound design. Sound design is made up typically of three parts: pre-show, intermission and post-show music; sound effects; and scene change music.

For “Out of Sterno” Allan Loucks wrote and performed an original score for the pre-show and intermission. This was such a treat. Allan’s music sets the mood for the entire show. He hit the nail on the head. By the time the show starts, you are already in Sterno and Dottie’s world.

The sound effects are typically called for in the script. In this show the internal sound effects were built from a library of sounds. These are things like the thunder, rain, the door ring and such. A little of this and a little of that and you have a storm. I have a library of sounds and I am a member of a sound sharing site. On that site, I upload sounds I have recorded in exchange for being able to download sounds others have uploaded. It a site for Foley artists.

Finally, there is the scene change music. During “Out of Sterno” this has gotten a number of good comments. On one level scene change music is just to cover the noise created by moving scenery. Hopefully it also moves the storyline forward, or at least does not take the audience out of the show. On another level scene change music can retell or foretell what happened on stage. Or it can just entertain.

“Out of Sterno” has some fun scene change music. Here are a couple of examples.

For “Out of Sterno” I started with the theme that Dottie’s world is both familiar and foreign. Then I set a few rules for the music: any music had to be familiar to at least some, if not a large portion of the audience. Next, it had to be somehow foreign or not what one expects. For example, “Take Five” performed on a sitar. Or “All You Need Is Love” on vibes. Like Dottie’s world, very familiar and comforting, but not quite what we expect. I also tried to choose music that moved the plot forward.

When the directors first heard the music, I was worried. Did the music conform to the rules? Would it be acceptable? Did I share their vision (or drink their kool-aid as the case me be).

Based on the feed back so far, the sound design in “Out of Sterno” works.

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Good tax news for artists

The Tax Court, yes there is such a thing, ruled that you do not need  make a full time living from your art to take advantage of the tax breaks related to being in the business of art.  Check out the story.

Please do not rely upon this site for your tax advice.  Consult and expert (ask if you can write off the professional advice as an expense).

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Albie’s Angels

When you see “Out of Sterno” you’ll get to see one of the wonders of theater: stagehands.  They create and rearrange the world.  Then, as soon as there is a plot point, they change the world again.  Often stagehands work in anonymity in the dark, but in “Out of Sterno” Albie Clementi’s set made them stars.  The stagehands entertain, visually filling the scene changes with their magic.  They are lit, it’s black light, but light nevertheless.  Here three of the stagehands, Blia Xiong, Barbara Cawley and Madeleine Winward pose with Albie:  Albie’s Angels.


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During “Out of Sterno” BAT’s stagehands are wearing black light reactive gloves. They addIMG_0157 fun and a bit of color during scene changes.

But there is a story behind those gloves. BAT looked all over for the right gloves. It found them online. (BAT tries to buy local as often as possible, but there are times when BAT must buy outside the community, this is such a case.) The gloves were ordered, and BAT was able to follow their movement as they traveled across the county. The wonders of online tracking.

Come full-dress and the gloves were out for delivery at 7 am that morning. Full-dress was set to begin at 8 pm. The gloves were not deliver by 6 pm. Time was getting tight.

IMG_0158BAT had the gloves shipped to a location where someone is during the day, but maybe not at night. I went to the location to wait for delivery. 6:30 pm came and went. 7 pm came and went.

I looked for a way to contact the shipper to see what was up, but there was no way to do that after hours.

7:30 pm came. It was time to head back to the theater to make sure the show started. I headed out to the car. I heard a diesel engine. Could it be a deliver truck? I waited. A diesel station wagon passed by. It was now 7:35 pm

Time was getting very tight. I had to leave. But I decided I would play one game of solitary of my phone, just because.

Continue reading

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Yes Officer

At the opening of “Out of Sterno” BAT had a searchlight. It was . . . well . . . bright.

searchlight beams shine in the night sky. Sept. 26, 2014

On the opening night of the BAT production of “Out Of Sterno”, the searchlight beams shine in the night sky. Sept. 26, 2014. Photo by Craig Orsinger for Burien Actors Theatre.

Before opening night, BAT called the Port to make sure there would be no problem with using the light to announce the opening of BAT’s 35th season. The airport is just about 4 miles away.  BAT was thinking of using a searchlight at every opening this season.

Last season at “Noises Off,” which BAT presented at the old Staples storefront just two blocks south, BAT had a searchlight. No problem.

This time, back home, about two hours into the searchlight doing its best to invite people to the opening of a very funny fable of our time, four police cars show up. (It must have been a slow night in Burien.) Officer Friendly comes into BAT’s office and tells me pilots are complaining about BAT’s searchlight. He politely, in that way police officers do, asked me to turn off the searchlight, which I did.

A little while later the Captain shows up (more proof it was a slow night in Burien) and gives me a name of the supervisor of air traffic control, and asks me to call him.

Burien Actors Theatre hired a searchlight to announce the start of "Out Of Sterno". Sept. 26, 2014

On the opening night of “Out Of Sterno”, Burien Actors Theatre hired a searchlight to announce the start of the production. Sept. 26, 2014. Photo by Craig Orsinger for BAT

Of course, the phone number was not correct. A few web searches and phone calls later I get to talk to Mr. Vale.

It turns out that at this time the planes are landing from another direction. Hence, the call to the police. It looks like things are well on there way to being worked out, and BAT should have searchlights for the each opening night this season. But for a while there, things looked dark.

Everyone throughout this process was very nice and although apparently causing a small problem, we all agree that searchlights at opening are cool.

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Try a Sterno or a Holy Moly

In concessions at “Out of Sterno” BAT is offering hard cider, light and dark beer. BAT is IMG_0154also excited to have two specialty cocktails for this show, a Sterno and a Holy Moly.

The Sterno is a wonderful blue color, but like its name sake, sterno, the drink is mostly alcohol. The Sterno has been a big seller on the opening weekend.  (Take a look at what comes up when you google “color of sterno.”

The Holy Moly is chocolate on top of chocolate with a little cream. If you like chocolate, you’ll love a Holy Moly.

If alcohol is not for you, BAT has coffee, tea, and pop, There are also cookies from a local shop and a wonderful assortment of candy.

Come early and relax in concessions until the show begins. Concessions is open an hour before the show.

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Slight Change In Comments Policy

The spam comment load on this website has become unbearable. Part of the reason is that, for reasons best known to themselves, spammers are sending comments to old articles. Our filters catch them, but the extra load on the server and the fact that there are now multiple “comments” appearing daily in the spam filter makes it impossible to determine if any are, indeed, not spam, make a change necessary.

For this reason, I’ve turned off comments for articles that are more than three weeks old. If you have a concern about an older article, please tell us by e-mail to user webmaster at the server’s domain, which is burienactorstheatre.org.

Update by Craig (Sept. 29): I’ve also disabled comments on media attachments, which is what our blog software calls the pictures, videos, and other non-text things that appear in articles. Hopefully, this will be a temporary thing.

Your comments are important to us. The main reason I’m doing this is that it had become impossible to make sure that real comments by readers of this blog were not discarded as spam.

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