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Band sets

SkuleTM Nite 8T0 Bandset Creation

SkuleNite 0T8 Bandset creation SkuleNite 0T8 Bandset creation

Drawings from SkuleTM Nite 8T5 Bandset

Elevation drawings, preliminary and final, of Skule Nite 8T5 band set

Preliminary (pen & ink on vellum) elevation drawing of SkuleTM Nite 8T5 band set (design by S.D. Roberts)

Elevation drawings, preliminary and final, of Skule Nite 8T5 band set

Final (pen & ink on vellum) elevation drawing of SkuleTM Nite 8T5 band set (design by Steve Roberts, construction by Allan Teichman and Lee Verhoeff)

(The final drawing is missing the Twin Towers. Yes, this was pre-9/11.)
 
This was the first band set. 
 
Between 1979 and 1982, the band, which was a small combo, sat in the right side of the house, in front of the front row. In 1983, Director Rob West placed a larger band on stage, at the back (“upstage"), spanning the width of the stage. The band would be revealed for musical numbers. Wayne Levin kept the band on stage in 1984. 
 
In 1985, Steve Roberts, inspired by the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, designed a set that would provide a backdrop for the show and frame the band, to be seated on scaffolding. This set, constructed by Stage Manager and Assistant Director Allan Teichman (now at The Shaw Festival) with Producer Lee Verhoeff, featured backlit “windows” to harmonize the the theme of “a night on the town.”
 
Later Skule Nites dispensed with the idea of a complex backdrop, likely for time and budget reasons, and returned the band to stage level, visible to the audience. However, this practice was eventually discontinued in favour of hiding the band from the audience, possibly because of the band’s annual final night prank, which were visible to the audience. 
 
While band pranks were usually wardrobe-related (or lack thereof), I recall a particularly good one, which actually improved the show, according to the director, Rajko Krminac. The sketch was set on a city street, and the musical number was a gritty Tom Waits song. Mid-run, the three-piece horn section thought it would be a good idea to play our parts onstage, in ratty trench coats, as if busking for change. Since the band was right behind us onstage, and the set changes allowed us to enter and exit behind the curtains, it went off without a hitch. The singer turned around near the end of the song, just to see what he was hearing. I wish we had the idea back in rehearsal, because Rajko loved it. Prank ideas, while they are (or should be) approved by the Stage Manager, do need to be crafted in rehearsal, since they can improve the show. Sometimes. S.D. Roberts Cast 8T0, 8T2, 8T4; Design 8T1, 8T3, 8T4, 8T5; Band (Trumpet) 8T3, 8T7, 9T6; Director 8T5; Writer 8T4, 8T5, 8T6, 8T7; Videography 9T3, 9T5; Photography 9T7; Fossil 8T6, 9T1, 9T4