I have the pleasure of shooting for The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles on many occasions. I cover most of their productions as well as content for their website and catalog. It’s a pleasure to work somewhere where I get the chance to see a lot of truly fantastic theatre from their very talented students.
Every May the school produces a graduation festival. In the same way that you might have to do a final thesis project to get your science degree, here each student is assigned a role in a full length play that is produced on their mainstage and performed in front of faculty, friends, family and invited guests. It’s a chance for students who are finishing their second year to put into practice everything they have learned over the course of their time at the Academy.
Led by a truly out of this world production team, this year, the school produced thirteen plays in four weeks. We aren’t talking about small scale black box productions with limited props and costumes here. These are fully produced plays with amazing sets that are dressed fully with props, beautiful costumes (many of which are handmade for these specific actors) and incredible lighting and sound design.
Anyone who works in theatre knows how hard it is to do this for one production, much less fourteen…and in four weeks!?!? It sound impossible. But they do it. Every year. Shows run every other day and the production staff builds and loads in on dark days working through the night.
The result is a festival where these students are really able to shine. I have the pleasure of shooting their dress rehearsals and catching their process on film. Well, on digital as it were. Below are some selected images from this year’s festival.