Amber Quick as Sherakhan in ZachTheatre.org's JUNGALBOOK
I don't know if it's me or if it's the people picking productions at Zach Theatre (I suspect that I really only like fun, happy uplifting plays and get quickly bored with bitter sweet or message-y dramas) but lately I've really enjoyed watching, photographing and doing video of the kid's plays much more so than the "grown up" fare. The kids are just so darn good at acting and dancing and having fun. And, by extension, infecting their audiences with a sense of joy and good energy.
That's exactly what I experienced yet again at the dress rehearsal of JUNGALBOOK at Zach yesterday. I went to the early swim workout so I wouldn't have to rush to make it in time for the 11 a.m. start of the dress rehearsal. I was packing three cameras and three lenses and I'd read the script this time, trying to script engineer how the play would unfold in front of me.
The lighting was contrasty and peppered with deep pools of shadow that switched almost at will to spots of bleachy brightness. It kept me guessing and had my fingers glued to the aperture ring so I could constantly make on-the-fly adjustments as actors moved through the space or lights dimmed or brightened.
My favorite lens and camera combo of the day (the camera won by default since it hosted the favorite lens) was the Fuji X-T3 coupled to the 56mm f1.2 APD lens. I tried to use it mostly at f2.5 but occasionally I weakened and gave into the lure of f4.0 with its promise of safety in the form of more depth of field.
I kept the shutter speeds up around 1/125th and above to mitigate potential camera shake and, with this camera and lens combo, I was shooting around ISO 640-1250.
When I got home and looked at the images I was very happy. Happier still that the play was so good and so immersive. Amber Quick is one of a small cast of adults in the play and she matched the kids for sense of humor, energy and sheer acting chops.
Okay, the kid's play restored my interest, passion and delight in live theater. The adults are now on notice.