Marshall McMahen is Pacific Opera Victoria's associate designer in residence.

Marshall McMahen is Pacific Opera Victoria's associate designer in residence.

Designing Camelot

Camelot will be different than the other POV operas in the season. It’s a musical in concert.

Marshall McMahen’s memories of stage production date back some two decades, when as a little boy he and his siblings would put on living room plays.

“I remember building things and putting on shows as a kid; making my sisters be in my little productions that I would direct them in, dressing them up and bossing them around, hanging things from the ceiling; all the same kinds of things that happen in real theatre,” says 28-year-old McMahen, Pacific Opera Victoria’s associate designer in residence for the 2014-15 season.

The UBC Theatre grad is now involved in productions on a much bigger scale, participating in a year-long practicum of sorts to gain experience as a set, lighting and costume designer in a professional setting. “One of the things that happens when you’re a designer is that your company always just has one designer for something, so often you’re just learning from your own mistakes and your own successes,” McMahen says. “There’s only so much you can learn from yourself without being exposed to others’ artistic practices, so I thought this was a great time to go back to school, in a way, and learn from really fantastic, and experienced, established designers.”

After working closely with POV costumer Nancy Bryant on October’s major production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, McMahen is taking on a more leading role for November’s semi-staged collaboration with Victoria Symphony: Camelot in Concert. He’s assisting on both costume and set design.

Camelot will be different than the other POV operas in the season. It’s a musical in concert. So rather than having people stand at music stands, it’s staged, people are moving around and using the staging to tell the story,” he says.

One of the big challenges the designers face is figuring out how to stage the show, given that the Symphony orchestra will also share the stage with the actors. “Camelot is really going to be quite different than anything people are used to seeing. It’s going to be exciting to see the orchestra right there on the stage, because we’re integrating them into the action of the piece.”

Camelot in Concert runs Nov. 22 and 23 at the Royal Theatre. For info and tickets, visit rmts.bc.ca

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo author Haley Healey recently launched her second book, ‘Flourishing and Free: More Stories of Trailblazing Women of Vancouver Island.’ (Photo courtesy Kristin Wenberg)
Nanaimo author pens second book on ‘trailblazing’ Vancouver Island women

Haley Healey’s ‘Flourishing and Free’ follows her 2020 debut ‘On Their Own Terms’

Saanich author Hannalora Leavitt hopes her new book, This Disability Experience, helps to dispel the ‘otherness’ that often surrounds people with disabilities. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Vancouver Island author demystifying disability and dismantling otherness

Hannalora Leavitt, who lives with a visual impairment, wants to change how people look at disability

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

The Royal B.C. Museum has added a tamba dining set, used by a Punjabi man on his voyage to Canada in 1927, to its ‘100 Objects of Interest’ online collection. (Courtesy of Royal B.C. Museum)
Punjabi dining set added to Royal B.C. Museum’s ‘100 Objects of Interest’ collection

Set used by Indar Singh Gill on his voyage from Punjab to Canada in 1927

Victoria-born musician Bryce Dane Soderberg took to Instagram Monday to call out the Greater Victoria School District on its proposed cuts to elementary and middle school music programs. (Bryce Dane Soderberg/Instagram)
Victoria-born Lifehouse vocalist calls out SD61 on proposed music cuts

‘It will be a big loss to future generations’ Bryce Dane Soderberg posted to his Instagram

Musqueam and Qualicum First Nations artist, Mathew Andreatta, next to several of his ongoing projects, including carvings and illustrations. (Submitted photo)
Island artist considers art a means to reconnect with his Indigenous identity

Andreatta thought of TOSH as a space of learning and creation

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong are presenting an online reading on May 9. (Photos courtesy Joni Marcolin/Heather Armstrong)
Nanaimo playwrights present online Mother’s Day script readings

Nicolle Nattrass and Michael Armstrong to read from in-progress plays

Marianne Turley is one of this year’s City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award winners for Honour in Culture. (Bulletin file photo)
Longtime Vancouver Island Symphony board member gets posthumous culture award

Marianne Turley receives City of Nanaimo Culture and Heritage Award for Honour in Culture

The CVAC Fine Arts Show is always something to see and 2021 promises to be no different, as they adopt a fully multimedia approach. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley Fine Arts Show goes multimedia for 2021

The show, which runs from May 1-22 will be available both in person and online.

Dinner After a Death, a painting by Sooke artist Bryan Cathcart is part of a collection featuring his work at the Outsiders and Others Gallery in Vancouver. (Contributed - Bryan Cathcart)
Sooke artist finds creativity by expanding artistic horizons

Bryan Cathcart, 26, featured at Vancouver gallery

Viking-inspired fantasy writer Joshua Gillingham of Nanaimo and Seattle-based Islamic science fiction editor Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad are co-editing ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star.’ (Photos submitted, illustration by Lada Shustova/Figue)
Nanaimo author co-editing historical anthology connecting Vikings and Muslims

Joshua Gilligham presents ‘Althingi – The Crescent and the Northern Star’

Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)
Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants

Most Read