Merrimack Repertory Theatre Blog



One of the questions Merrimack Rep staff members get asked a lot this time of year is “what do you do over the summer?” People think that because our season is over that we aren’t very busy, but in fact summer is one of our busiest times. In addition to the YAAP theatre camps, which start next week, we are laying the groundwork for next season. Since our season begins a month earlier because we are producing 7 shows, we have less time than usual to complete preparations. So what exactly is everyone to at Merrimack Rep?

The artistic department, as you might expect, is busy hiring the guest artists (actors, directors, and designers) for next season’s productions. Auditions for these shows began as early as May, while A Moon for the Misbegotten was still on stage. Artistic Director Charles Towers has begun work on The Seafarer, one of two plays he will direct next season. The cast is in place, and while it won’t be announced until the fall, expect to see some familiar faces. We have also seen preliminary set design models for The Seafarer from Bill Clarke.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers, who will world premiere their new show Flings and Eros at Merrimack Rep in September, are currently in Italy working on the production. We received a call from them Wednesday saying that they were in Verona taking photos for the show. We should have artwork to post soon, so stay tuned for that. After spending July in Italy, the Flying K’s will be headed to Lowell, where rehearsals begin on August 14.

The marketing department is currently focusing on the season brochure. A large part of this is finding the right images for each show, which is very important because we will be using these images to promote the shows we are producing over the next year, so we better like them. Sometimes what we are looking for is too specific, so we decide to shoot the picture or an element of it ourselves. In this case, we were looking for a picture of a man holding burning playing cards for The Seafarer, and it had to be a particular poker hand. This proved to be impossible to find. So we bought a couple of decks of cards, singed them to the appropriate point, and had Development Associate Jeff Prescott stand in as the “hand model” for the shot. Jeff has done this several times before; you may remember his hands from the brochure pictures for The Pursuit of Happiness and The Missionary Position. Thanks to Photoshop, we can add the picture of Jeff’s hands and the cards to our pre-existing picture of the table, and add in fire later, so he wasn’t forced to hold burning cards!

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

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