Teching Ma Rainey

Oakland CA

Oakland’s premier African American Theater troupe, The Lower Bottom Playaz are presenting Wilson’s entire Century Cycle in chronological order. FENCES opens November 2013. http://www.TalesofIronandWater,


SarahMcKenneyTeching Ma Rainey

by Sarah McKenney

Hello World! The Portland Stage Season is up and running.

My name is Sarah McKenney and I’m the electrics intern for this season. The electrics department covers lights, sound, and projections­­­–and for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom we will be using all three. Putting instruments on stage is never an easy task, so when I learned that our first play would center on a jazz band, I knew we’d be off to a running start.

As it happens, our actors have not spent their entire lives playing their character’s instruments of choice, so much of the music in the show has been pre-recorded. Therefore, while the actors fall back on their mainstay— acting— the techies get to bring in the noise! This week and next week are a continuous tango of speaker placement, aiming to hit the audience in just the right spot–but also be…

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About Ayodele Nzinga, MFA, PhD

I create; therefore I am.
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