Most staged readings only get a few hours rehearsal. For Sunday night’s reading of “Klaus,” my darkly comic show about the origin of Santa Claus, the Hollins Playwright’s Lab has arranged for four days worth of rehearsal — and brought in Chicago director Cheryl Snodgrass to helm the proceedings.
Here are some photos from Friday night’s second rehearsal, on the June M. McBroom Theatre stage at Community High School in Roanoke, Va.:
The show has a strong science fiction element to it. Here, Mary the landlady (Martha Boswell) stares up to discover all her cutlery is stuck to the ceiling. Professor Klaus (Brian O’Sullivan) is overjoyed at the success of his experiment with magnetism.
“Klaus” is heavy on special effects, which are hard to do in a staged reading. So stage manager Melissa Kennedy will be onstage handling many of the sound effects, much like the narrator in a radio play.
Professor Klaus (Brian O’Sullivan) ventures out into the audience to deliver toys to children. Well, you’ll have to imagine the toys. But he’s made them himself in his workshop.
Here’s another special effect you’ll have to imagine. Will Coleman, playing a college student in the 1700s, carries a torch in the climactic scene. That’s one of his fellow classmates, played by Kevin McAlexander, at left, and stage manager Melissa Kennedy in the background.
Director Cheryl Snodgrass.