Lena Gabrielle

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Weekly Update: July 28, 2015

Weekly Update: July 28, 2015

28th Jul, 2015

Last week was crazy! I spent my days editing the "Tink" script with Tony (artistic director) and Kristen (stage manager) and we finally have a solid draft of the entire show! I am looking forward to our read through later this week so we can iron out even more details. I made a lot of lists and wrote a lot of music (and some lyrics) and am working hard on the dance breaks so Renata can start her choreography work. I am aiming to get drafts of every song done by August 10 - which is when I leave for my 9-day road trip. Even though I have a lot of work done, I still haven't written my "hit." I'm getting concerned, but I know that it will come to me and I'll end up writing "the big one" soon.

Because I've been doing shows almost constantly for the past two months, I took this weekend to see as many friends in as much local theatre as possible! Many actor/director/choreographer friends of mine find it difficult to see shows, because it is hard for them to enjoy the piece of theatre rather than looking at it technically. This weekend it was a challenge for me not to (especially Footloose and Into the Woods, both of which I'm very familiar with), but I ended up thoroughly enjoying every show that I saw for different reasons. An extra big shoutout to my friend Richie - I drove to Cleveland this past Sunday to see him rock the house in American Idiot!

What a blessing it is to be able to see so much theatre in such a small area. #supportlocaltheatre

*Theatre I saw this week: Footloose (Armstrong Community Theatre), The Drowsy Chaperone (Stage 62), Into the Woods (St. Vincent Summer Theatre), Chicago (The Theatre Factory), American Idiot (Beck Center for the Arts)

*What is stuck in my head right now: "Neverlanders" (song I'm working on for "Tink")

*Most delicious thing I ate this week: Sandwich from Melt in Cleveland

*Biggest non-work-related thing of the week: I went swimming!!!!!

I saw ALL THE SHOWS last week!

Weekly Update: July 21, 2015

Weekly Update: July 21, 2015

22nd Jul, 2015


What a crazy week - the end of an era for me - seven musicals in rapid succession from May to July! Now I'm just focusing hard on Tink and hope to be posting progress updates throughout the next two months.

Mary Poppins was an incredible journey, even though I was only there for a week. I had the chance to work with an impeccable cast and some insanely talented musicians.

Their MD/Conductor was new to the scene, (a composition/voice major at WVU having training in choral conducting and limited instrumental experience) and it was wonderful to watch him grow as a conductor throughout the week. He was really open to my/ everyone's suggestions and I know that he got a lot from the experience. It made me think back to my first conducting experience (The Final Battle in 2010) and how I never would've gotten through it without Beth's guidance.

Aside from that, I faced my biggest piano challenge yet - the score in and of itself is a nightmare (cannot possibly have been orchestrated by anyone who knew anything about orchestrating, but I don't judge) but to make a long story short, I ended up playing from both the piano conductor score and the piano 1 score simultaneously (note: there were only several times where I was actually playing sections from both scores at the exact same time, but I was switching back every 25 measures or so.) Working from multiple scores and turning all those pages/keeping track of measure numbers was a huge strain and my brain shut down Thursday night during act 2. Luckily, I was able to recover and play all three shows without a hitch.

*Theatre I saw this week: Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins. Mary Poppins.

*What is stuck in my head right now: GDFR by Flo Rida

*Most delicious thing I ate this week: Stuffed mushrooms from Bud's!

*Biggest non-work-related thing of the week: Brunch is still the best meal of the day.

Mary Poppins magic!

Weekly Update: July 13, 2015

Weekly Update: July 13, 2015

13th Jul, 2015

This past weekend I finished up my run of "Tarzan" at the Geyer Theatre in Scottdale. It was such an amazing process; I watched all of our young actors (with a few exceptions, our entire cast was under the age of 22) grow so much, especially in the past week. I have never worked on a show that has caused me this little stress, and our positive environment backstage led to an amazing bond as an ensemble onstage. All four shows were extremely consistent in energy, even when the audience was lacking. It was truly a life changing experience to work with such a dedicated, team-focused, and ultimately selfless cast (and a pretty kick-butt production staff) and I already miss my "family." They will always be in my heart.

This week I'm working on "Mary Poppins" at the State Theatre in Uniontown! Widely regarded as the most technically challenging score released in the past 15 years, our pit is up to the challenge. I'm excited to play keyboard alongside talented local musicians from both Pennsylvania and West Virginia. From what I've seen today and yesterday alone, their cast is phenomenal, and I know their show will be a huge success.

Onward and upward.

*Theatre I saw this week: Tarzan. About 8 times.

*What is stuck in my head right now: Jolly Holiday from "Mary Poppins" (The Musical!)

*Most delicious thing I ate this week: Chocolate Chip bars I made with my little buddy Rhya.

*Biggest non-work-related thing of the week: Sleeping in is excellent. Breaking the habit of sleeping in is not.


Weekly Update: July 7, 2015

Weekly Update: July 7, 2015

7th Jul, 2015

A little late this week on the update, on account for it being tech for Tarzan! Working hard this week getting the production on its feet.

Last week, I made a lot of progress on Tink. I now have plot maps for almost all of the songs in act 1. It was great to relax for a week in between shows! Next week I hope to have a Tink demo up for you all.

*Theatre I saw this week: Does fireworks count as theater?

*What is stuck in my head right now: Strangers Like Me from "Tarzan"

*Most delicious thing I ate this week: Homemade fresh fruit salad on July 4th

*Biggest non-work-related thing of the week: Face planting in the mud is just as fun as I remember it being.

"Tink" progress!
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