Walton Arts Center preps shows for national tours

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 347 views 

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Barera.

Walton Arts Center (WAC) in Fayetteville will continue in the coming months its history of hosting and supporting new national tours during their technical rehearsals.

WAC will host technical rehearsals Dec. 25 through Jan. 3 and three preview performances on Jan. 4-5 for “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical,” a musical adaption of The New York Times best-selling novel written by Rick Riordan.

The performing arts venue will do the same for “Falsettos,” which played Broadway in fall 2016 and was subsequently nominated for five Tony Awards, with technical rehearsals scheduled Jan. 28 through Feb. 7, and preview performances Feb. 8-9.

Technical rehearsals focus on integrating the live performers with production elements such as scenery, audio, lights, rigging, special effects, props and costumes. The rehearsals allow the traveling cast and crew to spend time in one location together, preparing the show before touring life on the road begins.

After the premiere performances, the crew breaks down the sets, cleans the costumes, packs the trunks and boxes and fits everything into the multiple 53-foot tractor-trailer rigs that haul the show to the next venue and, ultimately, on its tour around the country.

WAC has helped launch at least 10 shows on their national tours since 1997, according to public relations director Jennifer Wilson, beginning with “A Chorus Line” in 1997.

“When we ‘tech’ a show in a city, that means we are utilizing as many resources that the show needs from the local community in order to get the show on its feet,” said Sarah Dahlberg, senior tour marketing and press director for entertainment agency Allied Global Marketing. “Whereas tours that just come through to perform are primarily self-contained, in tech on a new show anything can happen, and we need fast local resources to help us, as we can’t get them from NYC or elsewhere.

“So Fayetteville will be a huge resource for us, both for what’s on stage and how the show operates off-stage, but also on a more personal, human level — with how each member of our team lives their own lives and whatever their personal needs may be met while there.”

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