At least, I hope so. The show currently runs 3 hours. The good news: it does not feel like 3 hours at all; it's so engaging. The bad news: It runs 3 hours.
This past week, we added some sound in for the transitions between scenes. The director, Terry Nolen (who incidentally is also the Artistic Director for The Arden), loves using the cast as scene changers. I have to agree, it makes everything run so smoothly and offers the audience continuity by allowing them to see the same people on the stage all the time. There is also the chance to work the scene change into the action of the show as well.
Anyway, our sound designer (who will also be providing some video for the show) is Jorge Cousineau. This guy is so bloody awesome! I can't think of a better way to describe him. The assistant Production Manager calls him "a mad genius." That fits as well.
He grew up in East Germany and came of age in the 1980's, around the time The History Boys takes place. He told us how he would rig antennae and recording devices up in order to get the radio stations coming out of West Germany and the rest of Europe. He'd record them on a tape player (old school) and then he and his friends would share what they had. He said that sometimes he'd have to stand "just so" in order to get the station he wanted.
So you can see why he became a sound designer. He also composes music; there's no end to his genius.
Well, the actors in our play are quite young since they have to play teenage boys. They didn't come of age in the 1980's. So Jorge made them all a CD of 1980's music so they could listen to what English lads were listening to at that time. I, of course as stage manager, had to have a copy and I love it! I actually recognize some of the songs which made me happy because the songs on the CD are all what teens listened to in Europe.
Jorge and I had a quick conversation about music of the 80's. I said I listened to: David Bowie (Let's Dance anyone?), Talking Heads (Stop Making Sense), U2 (I did hear them first in France on a school trip in 1984), and, hmmm, well, I can't think of the rest. Jorge just said, "Yup, American music."
As I write this, I'm listening to the CD and loving the trip down memory lane and learning about the music I missed on this side of the pond. What did you listen to in the 80's?