What numbers go into the arts? Think gallons of paint in bulk, fluorescent bulbs in a theater, bottles of wine for a gallery opening — all going into productions or exhibits every day in San Diego.
For our latest installment of “By the Numbers,” I asked The Old Globe for the math on the theater’s annual summer Shakespeare festival, which runs until mid-September.
I was inspired to seek out the digits when I saw “Amadeus” by playwright Peter Shaffer last weekend (the festival often includes one non-Shakespeare play). I was struck by the magnitude of the challenge actor Miles Anderson faces at The Old Globe this summer. In that play, he started memorizing his 1,200 lines last November, according to the North County Times.
He’s onstage most of the play, and carries entire scenes with his long monologues as Antonio Salieri, a jealous contemporary of the virtuosic Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
But Anderson’s also playing Prospero in “The Tempest” this summer. For that role, he has 572 lines, the most of any Shakespeare character this season, according to The Old Globe.
Here are some more numbers from the Shakespeare festival, which also features “Much Ado About Nothing”:
• 125 costume changes in “Amadeus”
• 24 actors in the festival — 12 union actors and 12 students in the University of San Diego’s Master of Fine Arts program. The students play 59 roles and are understudies for 47 roles
• 36 18th-century wigs in “Amadeus,” five built from scratch this year
• More than 400 lights hung for the festival, which took almost four weeks for electricians to hang, cable and focus
• Four hours for a crew of five stage technicians to take down or “strike” the scenery from the play the night before, install the new set and place props for the actors. This changeover happens five times in a typical week.
Have you seen any of the festival plays this summer? What’d you think? Leave me a comment below or on Facebook.