The Meadow Amphitheatre

Discussions, specifications, and details regarding maintenance & operation of the stage facility.

Please refer to; The Shakespearean Journal for theatrical programing and Cinema Under the Stars for film related activities.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Criminal activity a the stage

Here are images of the latest handy work of the next generation of criminals in Southampton.

I don't buy the argument that "Oh this is what kids do".  The appearance is that there was a large party by adolescents As evidenced by the other debris laying around.

I have my opinion about what causes this behavior,
but I am also aware that nobody wants to take the blame or be responsible
for the results of their failure to act properly, so I will leave it at that.

Here is my argument for this stage being constructed out of stone or concrete. 
We proved that good programs could work in this space
if the space is properly maintained and promoted.

It is now up to the good people of the community to decide
if they are willing to let this behavior continue
and destroy something good that was developing in Southampton.

I for one am unwilling to stand alone against this type of criminal activity,
spend my time and money to repair this damage
and I will not 
"cast my pearls before the swine". 

 Because that is surely what the cowards who have done this are,
whether they are children or adults.

Southampton will loose a developing group of cultural activities and people of talent who are becoming increasingly disheartened by the neanderthal attitudes 
and behaviors that are exemplified by this destruction.

I suggest that - persons who care enough about their community
to want to see cultural activities  develop further,
 I suggest that those persons make their voice known 
and stand up against this kind of behavior, 
rebuild the stage and insist that the perpetrators of this destruction be punished.

The stage before the vandals

As I have said in other postings, this stage would not stand for another season.
I said this because of the effects of entropy.

Obviously there is this factor which I expected but did not voice a strong opinion about.
Now the stage will not even be available for this season, 
because I am going to remove it
and focus my attention on a community that appreciates the effort.

The pictures speak for themselves.
I hope they get their just reward for their handiwork.

Friday, June 8, 2012

UPDATE 6/8/12

Well, activities at The Meadow Amphitheatre from my point of view are non-existent in terms of programming. This year I have decided that I need to focus my attention on rebuilding my vehicles and tending to other business.  Part of that is to continue building my mobile workshop, my tool truck and the camper (all of which we need to support the activities at the stage). I do intend on producing a version of "The Gnomes of New Hope" which is designed to be presented at the stage.

My expectation and goal is to build a mobile stage that matches the stage in Tamanend Park. This will allow us (and anyone else who develops a good program) to tour the show to other parks and communities in the area.

For the past six years we have spend every weekend working at the stage and this year things will change for me in that regard.  I will make myself available to people wanting to produce programs, but I will not be initiating anything this year because I am too busy with other business.  I am also trying to set up a scene shop on the Industrial Highway behind my current office.

For those of you  who know Gian, you will be happy to hear that he is taking charge of making sure we find the time to effect repairs on the stage and so I will be taking his lead in terms of that.  He has been a huge help in keeping the stage in good repair.

Some of you may now that Paul Radsivich, the Director of Tamanend Park has left his position.  This means that there is no Park Director at this time, and so this effects what we are able to do. However we will continue to pursue development of the stage, but this year it is more in the background as we try to rebuild the stage into a low maintenance facility.

One of the issues in that past has been vandalism and we think that building it out of stone will dissuade this from happening to a large extent. At least it will be more difficult to intentionally damage.

Yesterday, I spoke to the Public Works Department in Southampton and we talked about keeping the stage groomed and looking nice, so that it does not look abandoned. Frank thought this was a good idea.

In past years, I spent every Saturday mowing the field in preparation for "Cinema Under the Stars". I will not be doing that this year, because I have already committed my Saturdays to vehicular repairs & maintenance and (as it stands now) we are not presenting films this year.  If someone wants to take up the duties of helping to keep the stage groomed, let me know. We have two mowers which can be used for this. Even thought the Public works mows around the stage, the backstage areas need to be weed-wacked or mowed.

Our  effort now is to plan out the reconstruction in stone. As I have mentioned, the Boy Scouts have expressed an interest in this as a project for the kids.  We are working to outline a basic budget so as to have an idea of what it will cost and the work that needs to be done. We are discussing the method of putting in a foundation and building the perimeter in cinder-block, filling it in with stone and then laying down a flagstone surface. We are working on a budget for that so we can propose this to the necessary funding agencies.  Since this is a project for the community, then both the community and the government will need to provide the funding to do this.  We can begin to gather 5the supplies if anyone wants to help with this and we will need people to lend their voice to networking to make this happen.

Our shop space in the Barn

In addition to rebuilding the stage, the backdrop frame will need to be set in concrete and this will allow the functionality of it to be expanded. We have envisioned making a second level to the stage over the backdrop. Our main issue with that is trying to figure out how to prevent kids from climbing up there if we do that.  Our thinking is that the second level would be modular and only installed when it is needed.

In addition to those modifications, we were working on installing a trolley system for backdrops and the issues that slows that down is the long term durability of the stage. If the stage is not constructed to endure, then it is not worth the effort to refine the facility to service more extensive programming.

Last year I attempted to produce a program of Gilbert & Sullivan. Three times we got rained out and I had a very difficult time of finding an indoor back-up location.  It became clear that there must be an indoor facility to back-up the outdoor stage.  There is simply too much work and cost involved to have it wiped out by foul weather which can crop up on short notice. So this is a problem which needs to be solved.

Some time ago, Commissioner Martian asked me if I thought the barn in Tamanend Park should be turned into a theatre. Of course I said yes... so that is an interesting thought.

 A Performing Arts Centre?

Also we were working to produce a program of Colonial Sacred Music at the Old School Meetinghouse on the Pike and my sudden change of direction has effected that. We need local producers to take up the slack with that project, which would be a boom to the community's cultural offerings.

That's the update for now. Email me if you'd like to talk or friend me on Facebook, because I post information there too. AG

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Stage, beautifully set back in the Forest

 A view of the Stage with the projector, screen & speakers set up for
Cinema Under the Stars

 Note the dry cell batteries that run the movie.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Producing at The Meadow Amphitheatre

If you have a program which you are producing and intend to put up on this stage, 
send me your materials- publicity, photos, etc and I will post them here.  

From that point on you can post comments to the posting
and develop your program further from there.  


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Welcome to this site dedicated to:

The Meadow Amphitheatre 
Tamanend Park
  • The Meadow Amphitheatre was established in 2008.  It was a result of my having faced the reality that I am living in Southampton and there was no stage facility which I felt could serve the kind of outdoor theatre I was wanting to develop. 
  • Tamanend Park has another stage facility The Lion's Grove stage which is a nice stage area for certain kinds of events, concerts and such. It was my feeling that there needed to be another more isolated stage to present more intimate drama and music, which would not be effected by highway traffic.
  • So, since I had a stage, which I used in my set design work when I was a Technical Director/Set & Lighting Designer, I determined that the best use this stage might be for an outdoor amphitheater.  The stage was not in use because I had determined that I was no longer going to pursue that line of work, in lieu of working in Producing/Directing/Writing.
  • Hence, having worked for Joe Papp with Shakespeare in Central Park in NYC, I thought that we might be able to develop a program of that nature in Southampton. So it is that I approached the Director of the Park in Southampton.
  • The rest is history, that you can read about on The Shakespearean Journal or Cinema Under the Stars Web sites.
    • There are numerous staging and theatrical opportunities that have developed at the Meadow Amphitheatre, but all of the future at this facility will depend on much more community involvement.
    • I will continue to maintain the basic potential here and strive to reconstruct the stage from more durable materials, but the programing at this facility will depend on more people being involved in hands on work, fund raising, and promoting the facility/programs.
    • I intend on producing events here, but but I do not expect them to occur with any regularity, unless a great deal more assistance (in the way outline above) becomes consistently available. 
    • Up until this time I was willing to bear the load for developing, constructing, supplying and maintaining this facility, but now I have other priorities, which I intend on assigning my resources to.
    • I will continue to post here and will provide an outline of the goals and methods of reaching those goals, but I will not aggressively seek to fulfill those goals without seeing significantly more community involvement and resources being committed to seeing that happen.
    • This means that - if we need to have a Board of Director, then we need to see people who are interested in sitting on the Board stepping up to the plate and offering themselves for that duty. 
    • I am not willing to search out these people, because I need to see people with enough commitment to endure, people who are self-starters, who know how to get things done and have the right attitude.  I'm sorry to be blunt, but that's the way it is.
      • I will not be the one to rally the community to that call, other than  posting here and continuing in my normal way of being.  If that is sufficient then it will succeed, if not, then so be it.
      • I do hope that if you are a member of this community and - 1) you want to see the programs continue and 2) this stage facility be further refined for the benefit of the community; that you will get involved with hands on or financial assistance.
      • We need significant financial support, not merely a few hundred dollars. It costs approximately $4,000 for the entire season of films to be presented with Cinema Under the Stars. Other programs are equally as costly.
      • We made an attempt at free will contributions, and many thanks to those of you who did contribute, but it was simply not enough. This tells us that we need to have a more aggressive fund raising plan and people to implement that plan.  But I do not intend to be the one to implement that plan. I will contribute what I can to it, but I will not Direct the Funding effort.
      • My interest, generally speaking, is in programming design and facilities development. The other duties of an operation need to be taken up by other people. It is as simple as that.
        • I will offer as much assistance in this process as I can, without putting myself in financial jeopardy, as I have for the past three years.
        Arthur Greisiger
        Artistic Director / Proprietor;
        Image of the Mind Studios

        Founder / Administrating Director;
        The Alpha & Omega Society

        Founder / Executive Producer / Artistic Director;
        The Shakespeareans of Tamanend Park