Anticipation of this last Saturday was sort of like the feeling one has anticipating graduation. It seemed like the hard work was over, and just a ceremony between now and the diploma. In this case, it was 5 years of preparation, writing, recording, building for the presentation of Snapshots of Samson – the entire story of Samson done in music. The show itself is just over an hour in and the set up is estimated at 3 hours, but is closer to 5 hours to get everything in place and running properly. The set up starts with the rear-projection screen. This is to allow fewer items on the stage and provide information to the audience while changing costumes. The projector is set with a mirror on the back wall to make the image the correct direction when viewed from the front. This also means we can stand in front of the screen and not produce a shadow. We have large wheeled boxes which are used for a couch on a later song and double as storage and moving boxes. On the other side of the stage, we have Styrofoam boxes covered with wallpaper to simulate stone blocks. These are stacked with a florescent light box covered in the same material on top to connect the two columns. These get knocked down on the last song, “Death of Samson.” Moving towards the audience a bit more and there were two choir mikes. I will admit they were a whim. Each one is panned to the side on which it is positioned so that when singing and moving on stage, there is a base pick-up according to the head mike and a stereo effect according to the choir mikes. Moving a little further, there are two lighting stands. These each boast of 4 spot lights and a DMX light on the top. There are two of these stands allowing the lights to be aimed at 4 positions on the stage. This means, that when light 2 is shining, I have to be at the second position from stage right to have light from both sides. There is a computer program I purchased which controls all the sound, video, and lighting. I program each setting and just have to be on stage at that position at the appropriate time. The wiring and the positioning of the lights takes the longest to set. Also having two ladders helps as I turn on light 1, and start running up the ladder to reposition the light, back to the stage to verify position, go up the other ladder and repeat for each light. Once done, all I have to mess with in the back is the volume control in anticipation of song starts and the button to activate the following song.
Samson comes in the fall to return to his wife, only to discover she was married off to someone else. “This means War.”