Oberlin Blogs

What I've Done, What I'm Doing

August 3, 2016

Tom Cline ’18

Summer Conclusion

Now that I'm (finally) packed and at the Cleveland airport, it feels like my summer has begun. I've been in Oberlin all summer working for the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival, a free theater festival that performs three shows in rotating rep. In 12 short days, I'll be back on Oberlin's campus working for OSCA, the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association. Since my summer has been so Oberlin-focused, it's going to be lovely to leave the bubble for a while to see my family and pets, and hopefully I'll have some time to get focused for next semester.

I worked for OSTF as the Master Electrician, which meant I was responsible for taking the Lighting Designer's light plot and hanging and focusing the lights in the show. I also programmed the cues for the shows, and was responsible for maintaining and running the shows after they had opened. In addition, I also made sure the sound system was working and maintained it, set up and maintained the three projectors and video system we used over the summer, and did changeovers.

OSTF performs three shows in rotating rep. The shows this summer were Anne of Green Gables, Macbeth, and Inherit the Wind. The schedule for the summer looked like this:
Calendar of all the play practices

All three shows are fully produced, meaning they have completely different scenery, lighting and sound designs, and different projection set ups. In addition to running the shows, the tech and acting interns were responsible for changing from one show to the next. All of the props had to be stored, and the set was rolled or carried into storage as the next set was moved onstage. Since I was the Master Electrician, I changed over video patches, moved projectors, and added or removed lights as necessary to move from one show to another. Since the same acting and tech interns work on all three shows, it's a very demanding schedule, especially on double show days, but the people were wonderful and the audiences loved the show, making it an awesome experience. Now, all three shows are closed, the sets are disassembled, lights are struck and sorted, and more impressively, I managed to pack my entire apartment into my car.

After stage managing the Main Stage production of Psycho Beach Party, I'm jumping right back into stage management next semester, when I'll be stage managing our fall Main Stage production of Spring Awakening. Even though OSTF's season ended two days ago, I'm already anxious to get back into a show, even if it does mean going back to 6 nights of rehearsal a week and carrying 15-pound binders around campus constantly.

I'm also going to working as a Managing Assistant for the Theater Department. The Managing Assistants, of which there are 2-3 each year, work directly for the Managing Director and have a variety of jobs, including postering around campus, organizing town hall meetings, answering questions and helping people navigate the department, and any other loose ends that need to be handled. I love answering questions about the department and match-making directors with designer and technicians, so can't wait for the semester and the job to start!

I'll also still be working for OSCA as a Cleanliness and Maintenance Coordinator. As a CMC (everything at Oberlin has an acronym), I'm responsible for inspecting 4 kitchens a week and training elected food safety people in every co-op, as well as acting as a support person for any kitchen-related concerns during the school year. I discovered that I'm actually very passionate about food safety, and can't wait to get back to inspecting kitchens and (more importantly) being back in the midst of OSCA.

I'm also going to continue working for the Theater Department as an Electrician, a Props Loan TA, and a Warner Technical Assistant, and for the Office of Communications as a student blogger.

If it wasn't already clear, I have a bad case of the Oberlin overcommitment bug. Next semester, I'm also going to be taking 5 classes: Theater of the Millennium, one of my required Critical Inquiry courses for the Theater major, as well as Foundations of Theater (Theater history), Production Scenery (Theater production course), Arts Management (one of the courses I've been most excited to take at Oberlin), and Intro to Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies.

It's going to be a long (and difficult) semester, but I have so many things that I can't wait to get started on that I'm sure my short time away from Oberlin won't pass quickly enough.

If you made it through this long blog post, congratulations! Here are some pictures of my animals as a reward! If you scrolled down to the bottom of this post to see if I'd have any animal photos, then yes! I do!

See ya in 12 days, Oberlin.

Close up of a sleeping pug
Magnus, the sleepy pug.

A sheep with a leash
My mom walking the sheep.

Goats in a pen
The goats exploring their new play house.

Three dogs with their mouths on a red rag
The dogs fighting over a dish towel stolen from the kitchen.

A goat stares at the camera
One of the new goats, caught by surprise.

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