Shannon Fennell's Blog

My life, art, travel, make-up, cooking and the occasional rant!


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CATS, The musical

As promised… I can now post photos from the show as we opened this week to rave reviews and standing ovations!

First though I have to tell you that this is, flat-out, the most intensive make-up show I have ever worked on – and I have worked on 80+ theatrical productions.

I have an “official” crew of seven including me listed in the program, plus a hair person (who is credited in the program as a costume assistant) who applies all the wigs and does hair for a few characters using their own hair. PLUS I have picked up a few of extra volunteers from cast and other crew areas to apply foundations, AND new people volunteering to come help us.  We had to move the call time from 5:30 p.m. up to 4 p.m. in order to have everyone ready to go do warm-ups at 6:45.  With all the extra help we are managing to have all the opening number cast ready.  Then we continue with another nine cast who don’t appear until after the opening number in order of appearance.

We are using Ben Nye theatrical cream make-up on the majority of cast, with the exception of McCavity, Rumpus Cat, Firefrorefiddle, and a couple of kittens.  On those we are using face paints as they are not active roles and we don’t have to worry about the actors sweating, and they are more extreme characters so the designs work really well for the few minutes they are on stage.

The first run through for make-up was at the tech rehearsal last Saturday – where I was down two make-up crew members.  We were supposed to start at 9 a.m. but the place was locked, so once someone arrived to unlock the dressing rooms and we got things set-up, I think it was probably closer to 10 a.m.  We did not finish make-up until 2 p.m.  They were running a cue-to-cue on stage and were calling for specific characters so people would have to leave and come back.  The decision was made to change call time for the dress rehearsals to 4 p.m. and see how it went – we are staying at a 4 p.m. call as we are just managing to have everyone done at this point.  Speed is increasing but it will probably need to stay that early.  Usually call is 5:30 which generally gives us two hours but they are pulling the cast for warm-up at 6:45 for a 7:30 curtain so we lose 45 minutes out of a usual call.

With all crew members present and the extra recruits from the cast, we had them all done for warm-up as required.  There is a total cast of 34 – last night I personally did 13 of them.  I have new people on the crew who are on a learning curve and they are picking up speed each day and their techniques are improving too.

On stage… it looks amazing!

The following photos are all copyright Beauchamp Photography and were taken at the final dress rehearsal.

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It is so awesome to have photos of this caliber to show off our production!

I’ll be posting more about CATS in the coming days!  There are a LOT of images from this show…