We have a great season in store!  Join us for our first murder mystery play at Jewell since 1992 in November and a brand new romantic comedy in April!   Click here for a printable PDF: 2014-15 season poster 11×17

Our first video advertisement for a show turned out pretty well. Thank you to Curshion Jones and Morgan Allen for their work in producing the video.

Video  —  Posted: November 19, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Cast member Isak Anderson describes his role in Jewell Theatre Company’s production of “A Murder of Crows” by Mac Wellman. Directed by Natasha Lee Martin. Stage Designs by Nathan Wyman.

October 31-November 3 @ 7:00 PM.
$5 with a Jewell ID, students and Seniors
$10 General Admission

Video  —  Posted: October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

Some of the cast from the Fall play talk about their roles and impressions of Jewell Theatre Company’s first offering of the season- A Murder of Crows.
Directed by Natasha Lee Martin
Stage Designs by Nathan Wyman

Video  —  Posted: October 3, 2012 in Uncategorized

A New Year, A New Show!

Posted: February 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

Jewell Theatre Company has begun work on the North American Premiere of “Living Creation” by Francis Warner!  Opening night is April 12 with a four performance run through Saturday the 14th at 7:00 (matinee performance on the 14th at 2:00).

Playwright Francis Warner will be in attendance on opening night for a free audience Talk-Back after the performance.  This rare opportunity promises to be informative and fun.

The cast and crew are fast at work on learning lines, arranging costumes, and building the set.

We welcome Tina Campbell back who designed and executed costumes for our production of  A Man for All Seasons last fall.

For updates on our progress, “Like” us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JewellTheatreCo

Building, Altering, Learning

Posted: September 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week has been a busy one.  As rehearsals for A Man For All Seasons have progressed, the notes and requests for technical elements have increased.  Last week was very smooth, but this week brought a few setbacks.

Tuesday September 20

Stagecraft Practicum with the help of Theatre work-study students set to work on several projects. In the costume department, Tina had students busy with several costume fittings, and alterations. As I mentioned last week, many of the rented items were in disrepair, so Rachel, Rachel, Aidan and Julie were seam ripping, removing trim, cutting, altering, and repairing the whole work time.  Fittings went well (including that awesome Henry VIII costume in the photo from last week.  The golden shirt was a little snug on the actor, so Tina is going to recycle the sleeves and rebuild the rest.  It will look great!

Lighting progressed a little as Whitney learned more about the set up of Peters Theater and how the lighting positions effect the stage areas.

A top lighted view of the model set.

Looking at the model helps to see the challenges this set design poses for lighting.

A front light view of the model set.

The scenery crew began work on framing the flats for the half Tudor arches that are the main feature of the set design.  These arches will be built in two parts (a leg section, and the arch border section).  Students began measuring, cutting and assembling the leg framing, but discovered that our pneumatic stapler was not working.  This tool has been in the shop for over 20 years and has served us well.  A new stapler was needed, but there was no time to get it in time to work on Tuesday.

The retired stapler.

We went on a hunt for needed props in the prop room so that the cast can begin to work with items on stage in rehearsal. We were able to pull some props from stock, but some familiar items were missing from the storage room.  Last fall the prop room was emptied and sorted.  Duplicate items were boxed up for donation and stored backstage.  We went through the boxes of items in search of some of the missing items that Prof. Wyman recalled being in stock.  Several items were found, but some are just lost.  So the quest continues.  We need a table and chairs that fit the period of the play and Prof. Wyman knows some shops in the area that might have just the thing.

Another part of the crew loaded up Nate’s and Prof. Wyman’s two truck beds with those left over prop items to donate to the Hillcrest Thrift Store near campus.  It was fun to see the faces of the guys at the donation dock when we pulled in with about 25 boxes of household items.  They were shocked, but appreciative for the donation.  It felt good to move all of that stuff out of the theater too!

Wednesday September 21

Prof. Wyman took a little drive over to Claycomo (a neighboring township about 10 miles down the road) which is home to Timeless Treasures Antique Mall.  This is the sort of place where they know your name when you walk in the door.  He was on the hunt for a Jacobean styled table and chairs and some pewter mugs.  No luck!  He did find some period appropriate brown glazed stoneware mugs, so the trip wasn’t a total waste.

Brown stoneware mugs for the show.

Thursday September 22

Thursday went more smoothly armed with a new stapler for the scenery crew to use!  All four leg units were assembled within a couple of hours and Nate and Caleb completed the calculating needed to cut the framing lumber for the “arch border “units.  The new stapler worked out well and made the work quick and easy.

One of the Leg units for the Tudor arches.

The new stapler.

Rachel (another one…not the costume Rachel) spent the afternoon working on a publicity/marketing plan.  She utilized the new Digital Media Lab in Brown Hall to research how other theatre companies are marketing their shows visually.  She shared her results with Prof. Wyman and next week we will work on a poster concept to produce.

The costume crew had a few more fittings and are in the process of finalizing an order for hats and tights.  Caleb’s costume fit perfectly!  Shoes were pulled together for most of the cast and should be on their feet by Tuesday night’s rehearsal.  It is helpful for cast members to get into their “show shoes” early to begin to work in footwear appropriate to the time period. Again, the two Rachels continued their work on alterations and repairs as Tina worked on laying out patterns for making a couple of the costumes that could not be rented.  The Rachel who is also in the cast is most likely going to work on building her own dress for the show, which is a huge treat.  (Speaking of treats; thanks Tina for the candy treats that kept us going at the end of the week!)

Caleb as Richard Rich.

The lighting crew (Whitney and Layla) were busy testing light fixtures in the box boom positions. The booms are the positions on the upper sides of the house, which many alumni of Jewell Theatre lovingly know as “the ports” (we’re into fancy/accurate names for them these days!)  These two students worked hard physically and mentally as they did a ton of “theatre math” to calculate throw distance and beam spread for each of the stage areas and boom positions.  With the help of the “cheat sheet” which has many calculations already complete, they were able to determine which lenses to install into each fixture.  This pre-work takes the mystery out of hanging and focussing lights.  Whitney even stated that what she thought was the scariest of the practicums is actually quite enjoyable.

A view of the House Left box booms of Peters Theater.

So that’s the report for this week.  Prof. Wyman is off to do some shopping at the River Market Antique Mall on Saturday.  He usually finds what he needs there.  Let’s hope!

Jewell Theatre show is underway!

Posted: September 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

This week we finally got underway with the fall play. Rehearsals began on Monday night with the cast read-through of the first act.  The second act was read on Tuesday and the cast began working on the stage Wednesday night.   The report from the stage manager Karina is that things are working out pretty well so far.  Costumes, Scenery and Lighting got a jump-start on Tuesday and made great strides on Thursday! Here is a report of their work for the week:

Tuesday, September 13

A small crew jumped in to the college Paint Van to head to Kansas City to KC Repertory Theatre’s costume storage.  Some of you might imagine a room in the basement of the theater building at UMKC, but the truth is the storage is located several miles from the theater UNDERGROUND in a cave!  Tina Campbell our guest artist costumer for the semester is a graduate of the UMKC MFA Costume Design program and with her connections we were able to spend a few hours looking around the cave for clothing for the characters for A Man For All Seasons.  The end result was finding and renting about 2/3s of the costumes we need for the show.

UMKC Costume Storage

Whitney and Rachel amazed at the amount of costumes in the storage cave!

Whitney and Rachel looking for the women's costumes for the show.

That afternoon, back at the costume shop, the crew began to organize the costumes by character and even had a few fittings (with cast members who happened to be in the building). Once the costumes were in the shop Tina and the crew began to see what they had (and what they didn’t have!) They also could see the actual condition of the items; lots of them need repairs before they can be worn again on stage.  Tina was able to assemble a few pieces that we pulled into a costume for Henry VIII.

Pulled items were assembled for the Henry VIII costume.

The scenery crew went shopping for the afternoon, and I’m not talking grocery shopping! Since we still had the paint van, we took it to Lowe’s to gather lumber supplies for the show.  Nate, Rachel, and Drew were great assistants gathering  3 sheets of 3/4″ plywood, 28- 1×4,10- 2×4, and 18 sheets of lauan.  We picked up some small hand tools to begin to build up our tool stock (little wrenches, screwdrivers, and the like seem to disappear from year to year!)  I toured them around the whole store so they could be familiar with where to find the various materials and supplies available to them (especially the clearance racks!)

The two Nathans discovered these crescent wrenches at Lowes.

After all of the supplies were unloaded at the theater, the crew set up some stock platforms in the configuration of the ramp so the cast would know where it goes in rehearsal.

Thursday, September 15

The costume crew had fittings with three of the actors from the show.  They spent a lot of the time working on the rented costumes which were in great disrepair.  Trim was pulled off of some costumes, while others had to be pulled apart so that they could be reassembled correctly.  Rachel and Rachel are Tina’s main helpers for the show, but other volunteer crew have popped in from time to time to lend a hand. Tina ordered some shoes for one of our actors which should arrive next week for his fitting.

Some of the costumes that were pulled at the cave for the the show (some of them going back!)

The scenery crew really moved forward.  Once we had supplies we were able to begin laying out the sheet goods to begin the process of cutting out the arches for the set.  Laura, Rachel, Nate, Drew, and Caleb were the main crew on this task.  They used the table saw to cut some pieces, and for other, finer details, the circular saw and jig saw were used.  Only a few sheets are left to be cut next week and we’re ready to begin framing out the arch units.  The team worked very well together which is fantastic for a half new and half returning crew!

The scenery crew cleaning up the shop after a hard day's work!

The lighting crew also made great strides this week.  After doing some reading about stage lighting equipment and light plots, Whitney and Annette began to consider the lighting areas for the stage and learned about the different lenses used for different lighting positions.  Whitney and Annette headed up a crew to move the cyclorama drop from a downstage batten to the furthest upstage one and then also move the black scrim drop to a position downstage of the third electric.  This will allow us to create a variety of background colors for the show and then also make it black when no light is used on the cyc.  Five cyc-light units were tested and moved into position to create those color washes on the third electric batten.  I think they really enjoyed using the Remote Focus Unit to test the lamps on each unit.  Whitney will compile a list of circuit numbers for each gel color to be programmed into sub-master sliders on the light board for easy color mixing.

Overall it was a fantastic and productive work week for the technical staff!  Let’s keep up the good work.  We still have a long way to go to get this show ready for opening night in November!