Madame de Sade | Denver Theater Photography

I was going through some of my archives the other day and I found these photos from one of the first plays I ever photographed. While I was in college, at RIT, I started finding my niche with performing arts photography. Since my school didn’t have a theater program, I reached out to a nearby university and asked to photograph one of their productions. I had photographed plenty of opera and dance at that point, but this was my first straight play. I’ve since photographed many plays for Naropa University’s MFA Theater Program. This adaption of “Madame de Sade” was performed by the International Theater Program at the University of Rochester.

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Madame de Sade is a 1965 historical fiction play written by Yukio Mishima, set in Paris in the late 1700s. The play has an all female cast. The University of Rochester adapted the play to be set in the time of it’s writing. The costumes and props were all inspired by the 1960s rather than the 1700s. It was wonderful to watch such an interesting adaptation of a modern play. I loved that the Theater Department chose to feature a play with an all female cast as well!

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I found that with photographing straight plays, as opposed to operas and musicals, the emotions are less exaggerated, which meant I had to work a bit harder to capture them well. There were many quiet moments throughout this play that held so much emotion in context and it was a challenge to find ways to capture that tension without having the context of the rest of the scene. This is always a challenge in photographing any performance, but I always love a good challenge!

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

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Ancient Creatures | Boulder Performing Arts Photography

In the Boulder performing arts photography world, you run into a lot of tricky lighting situations. This show, part of Naropa University’s MFA Thesis Festival, had all of them in one. At points during the show, the only light source was a candle or flashlights or a strobe light. There was even a scene lit only by Christmas lights hung inside an umbrella. I loved all of the creative uses of light. The creators of the show did an excellent job using light to convey strong emotions. Plus, I’m always up for a fun lighting challenge!

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This show was centered around the ideas behind the zodiac. The main question posed by the performance is “Where are we going, and what will we be when we get there?” It explored the ways in which people can change through life experiences and the role that greater forces may factor into their lives. It was a stunning, moving, and surprisingly fun play!

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Director’s Note: “When I started working with the source material of the zodiac, I was more than a skeptic. The frame was perfect, but the source material lacked a certain scientific approach with which I felt comfortable. After my work with texts of Greek mythology, star charts, dice, anatomy, and my fellow creators, I am proud to say that we have built something out of this uncertainty, belief, and curiosity. This piece is the product of work, hope, and chance. The text and movement were created using chance systems, much like the creation of the universe.”

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Cast and Crew

Directed by: Michael Sater

Devised, written, and performed by: Michael Sater Rebecca Buckley Ashley Rice

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

Lucia di Lammamoore | Denver Performing Arts Photography

Each year, I photograph the Student Matinee at Opera Colorado. This show is performed by the Opera Colorado Young Artists for an audience of students from elementary and high schools around Colorado. It’s an amazing opportunity for students to see professional opera production on the main stage. In past years, students got the chance to see Mozart’s The Magic Flute and Lori Laitman’s The Scarlet Letter. Denver performing arts photography can present a few challenges so I wanted to go into my approach to photographing this show.

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The unusual thing about this performance is that there is no time for a dress rehearsal. The Young Artists only perform this show one time, on stage, and that is in front of a full audience. This is a huge challenge for them but you would never guess it. They always perform amazingly for the students! It’s also a challenge for me! Photographing with a live audience isn’t always preferred because it can be difficult to get the photos I need, without being disruptive. There are a few steps I take to make sure I stay quiet and out of the way, while still making the best images possible.

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I always dress in black, head to toe. If you know me, you know this is very out of character! I love wearing colorful clothes, but for these performances, I need to blend into the darkness. I also know this theater well, so I know where I can be that is out of the way and what paths to take. I set up a little home base, that is very out of the way of the audience. It’s also right in the center of the theater, so it’s perfect for getting wide-angle photos to show the whole scene and the set.

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Seeing a show before photographing it, is really helpful because I can plan where to be when and what angle and lens I want to use at each point in the show. I’m always able to see this opera (performed by the mainstage artists) before photographing the Student Matinee, which is great. I do move around the theater a lot when I photograph performances, but I’m able to gauge the best times to move without being disruptive. I also make sure I crouch down as much as possible, in the aisles so I’m not blocking anyone’s view. I’m always aware of the music and I try to click during the loudest points and keep it to a minimum during the quiet moments.

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It’s usually ideal to photograph a performance during a dress rehearsal, but that isn’t always an option. A lot of times companies don’t have access to the theater before the show opens. Sometimes, the show isn’t quite polished off until the audience is in their seats. Photographing with an audience can be the best option, in some cases. Using these methods, I haven’t heard any audience complaints, and I’m still able to get a wide variety of images for my clients!

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Lucia di Lammermoor Cast and Crew

Opera by Gaetano Donizetti
Libretto by Salvadore Cammarano
Conductor: Andres Caldera
Stage Director: Jordan Braun
Lighting Designer: Lucas Krech
Wig and Makeup Design: Ronell Oliveri
Accompanist: Parisa Zaeri
Young Artist Director: Cherity Koepke

Lucia: Allison Nicholas
Edgardo: Omar Najmi
Alisa: Danielle Lombardi
Narrator/Normanno: Ryan Bradford
Enrico: Charles Eaton
Arturo: Brett Sprague
Raimondo: Matthew Trevino

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com.

A Horseman’s Magic 2 | Boulder Theater Photography

This year, the Theater Program at Naropa University was so big, they needed to do two versions of their showcase, each with a different cast. I love seeing this amazing program grow. This show was done in the style of Beijing Opera and was full of fun movement and awesome plot twists. Here is cast B of A Horseman’s Magic at Naropa University.

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Cast B – Performed on 2/15/17 and 2/17/17

Zhuoma: Chie Saito
Jinma: Madelyn Rose Robinson
Horseman: Joshua Lorris
Landlord: China Young
King: Drew Piatek
Guards: Rebecca Buckley and Gabriela Petrov
Horsemen Dance: Rebecca Buckley, Michael Mayes, Landin Melendez, Gabriela Petrov
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado

Crew

Directed by International Guest Artist Xu Jiali
Writen by William Huizhu Sun & Faye C. Fei
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Jake Cacciatore
Assistant Production Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Leo Soula-Hutchinson
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado
Composers: Jade Garisch, Mark Gibson, Michael Mayes,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, China Young
Musicians: Percussion by Michael Mayes and Ukulele by Jade Garisch
Choreographers: Joshua Lorris, Drew Piatek, Chie Saito
Set Design: Michael Sater
Sound Design Assistance: Landin Melendez
Props: Gabriela Petrov and Rebecca Buckley
Costume Design: Kristin Marie Stelter
Costume Crew: Rebecca Buckley, Landin Melendez, Ashley Rice,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, Michael Sater, K. Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

Slice 1.0 | Boulder Performing Art Photography

Naropa School of the Arts’s Slice 1.0 is many things. Installation. Performance. Demonstration. The show’s poster reads “Caution: Could be political, spiritual, beautiful, ordinary, thoughtful, challenging, heartfelt.” The piece is in response to Trump’s election and the apparent rise in prejudice and discrimination.

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When you walk into the theater, all you see are chairs strewn about, seemingly at random. They all face different directions, there are no two chairs next to each other. There is a stage but not all the chairs face it. There’s a screen with projections on it but only some of the seats face that too. So you pick a seat, alone, and wait for the show to start. The actors perform throughout the space, sometimes on stage, sometimes on the floor with the audience. Sometimes, they interact with audience members. Each person has a different view of the show, a different perspective. No two people will see it the same way.

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This is a pretty bare bones play. The actors are dressed in all black. There is no set, very few props. The lighting is simple. But the ideas and emotions are what is powerful about this show. There are no distractions to get in the way.

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Slice 1.0 is made up of vignettes. Prayers, philosopher’s quotes, images, Hamilton songs, and political monologues are all incorporated into this play. The screen shows images from social media, like the “Fearless Girl” sculpture, by Kristen Visbal, facing the Charging Bull, by Arturo Di Modica, on Wall St. in New York City. The show ended with a rage induced dance party on the stage.

Be sure to check out Naropa’s last performance, A Horseman’s Magic, as well.

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Directed by Wendel Beavers

Cast/Creators

Rebecca Buckley
Landin Melendez
Gabriela Petrov
Ashley Rice
Madelyn Rose Robinson
Chie Saito
Kristin Marie Stelter
Annabel Turrado
Katie Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets? I would love to help tell your story through photos. Contact me here or message me at jamie@jamiekraus.com

A Horseman’s Magic 1 | Boulder Theater Photography

This year, the Theater Program at Naropa University was so big, they needed to do two versions of their showcase, each with a different cast. I love seeing this amazing program growing. This show was done in the style of Beijing Opera and was full of fun movement and awesome plot twists. Here is cast A of A Horseman’s Magic at Naropa University.

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http://www.jamiekraus.com/

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Cast A – Performed on 2/14/17 and 2/15/17

Zhuoma: Kristin Marie Stelter
Jinma: Ashley Rice
Horseman: Mark Gibson
Landlord: Michael Sater
King: K. Woodzick
Horsemen Dance: Rebecca Buckley, Michael Mayes, Landin Melendez, Gabriela Petrov
King’s Court Dance: Jade Garisch and Annabel Turrado

Crew

Directed by International Guest Artist Xu Jiali
Writen by William Huizhu Sun & Faye C. Fei
Stage Manager/Lighting Design: Jake Cacciatore
Assistant Production Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Leo Soula-Hutchinson
Composers: Jade Garisch, Mark Gibson, Michael Mayes,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, China Young
Musicians: Percussion by Michael Mayes and Ukulele by Jade Garisch
Choreographers: Joshua Lorris, Drew Piatek, Chie Saito
Set Design: Michael Sater
Sound Design Assistance: Landin Melendez
Props: Gabriela Petrov and Rebecca Buckley
Costume Design: Kristin Marie Stelter
Samantha Vakiener (King’s costume, Cast A)
Costume Crew: Rebecca Buckley, Landin Melendez, Ashley Rice,
Madelyn Rose Robinson, Michael Sater, K. Woodzick

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.

Naropa’s Homeness | Boulder Theater Photography

Homeness was a beautiful, ethereal show centered around the spaces in the home. The play was born from a five day silent writing retreat that the Naropa students went on. When they returned from the trip, they compiled their different material into one cohesive piece of theater. Each scene took place in a different room of the house and told a different story about shelter, belonging, memories, and love.

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Cast/Creators

Rebecca Buckley
Landin Melendez
Gabriela Petrov
Ashley Rice
Madelyn Rose Robinson
Chie Saito
Kristin Marie Stelter
Annabel Turrado
K. Woodzick

Crew

Technical Director/Light Designer: Shevek Majors-Peer
Stage Manager: Michael Blendermann
Assistant Stage Manager: Emma Quarterman
Light Board Operator: Karen Cruz
Sound Board Operator: Cameron MacAlpine
Electrics and Staging: Brandon Thomas, Todd Bilsborough, Leo Soula-Hutchison, Jake Cacciatore

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Want engaging production photos to reach new audiences and sell more tickets?  Send me a message at jamie@jamiekraus.com. I would love to help tell your story through photos.