On October 19th the Concert Career Pathways interns took a field trip around the block to attend the student matinee of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, which expressed the creation, struggle and accomplishments of The Temptations. As I walked into the Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the first time, I could tell the production was going to be something special. Not only because I was going to see a play about The Temptations, but because the set design caught my eye. On stage was the street view of a theatre, with a marquee that presented in big bold letters “The Temptations.” With the various set designs and theatrical lighting, I was fully immersed into the world that influenced the growth of The Temptations. Because the production was so vivid and realistic, by the time intermission came around, I’d almost forgotten where I was. Not only was the theatrical design very well executed, the play was very well written. One would think they would just see a musical performance about The Temptations, but one experiences the struggles and hardships of the temptations as well. The cast performed hits such as “My Girl,” and “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me),” — some of my favorite songs. Because of the cast’s talent and energy, I got a sense of what it would be like to see The Temptations during their wonder years.
After the outstanding performance, we were fortunate to be introduced to Angela Don (Sound Engineer), Julia Englehorn (Stage Supervisor), and Karen Szpaller (Deck Stage Manager), who graciously talked to us about the multiple shows that they were simultaneously operating in different parts of the theatre. Through the tour, I was able to observe the many differences between putting on live musical performances at The UC Theatre and staging theatrical productions at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. I noticed how much more complex plays were compared to live concerts, yet one similarity between both theatres was that there is no such thing as a routine day. During the tour I was able to learn about the crucial details of the production such as where the orchestra was located, how different microphones were set up on actors, and also how they were able to mend the stage with set pieces that they would be using for their Broadway performances.
Thanks to the Concert Careers Pathways program, I was able to experience an outstanding production at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Not only did I learn about the differences between live music productions and live theatrical productions, but I left with a broader sense of the different careers within the entertainment industry.