Holiday Reflections: The Iron Age Cast Gift PART 1

As the holiday approaches, I have to admit that the consumerism of our culture gets me down. I see so many people exchanging money for objects to give to others. The oddity of this exchange of object created by a corporation, divorced from the relationship of the giver and gift, overwhelms me. Now I understand that you can buy something from a local craftsman or an Independently owed story or shop, but so much of our holiday giving is simply an exploitation of product.
I have an intense relationship with gift giving that is directly associated with Iron Age Theatre’s performances. Any theatrical artist understands the come down after a production run. The intensity of the bonding, the shared creation, the joy of performance in a community causes some measure of emotional stress when we have to close the books on a specific theatrical venture. Even the least emotionally connected person can experience the physical letdown after the intensity of the production and performance schedule. There is a gap, a loss, much like a death in your family.
We Iron Age folks are integral to our performances. Many directors become audience during the run of a show, but I am usually running lights, sound, projections or stage managing our work as it runs.
I process my way out of a production by dating a gift for my actors and crew during the run period. The gift is linked to the content or concept of the play. I build the gifts by hand, sometimes 15 little creations. Some times the gifts are personalized to individual characters, sometimes there is one type of give that is show related and reproduced for every actor.
I thought as the holiday season approached, I would share some images and info about the gifts Iron Age has presented it’s team throughout the company’s 20 year history.
I want to acknowledge the help of Steve McLean, Adam Altman, Ray Saraceni, Randall Wise in the collection of the images in this article.

Maroons:The Anthracite Gridiron Cast Gift

This is a piece of coal used on the set with a football attached and a miniature of the set’s scoreboard with the score of the game which the Maroons; won against Notre Dame and with that victory, lost the NFL title.

One Flew Over the Cukoo's Nest Gift

This is a full 52 card deck with cast members in character on each card.

Jekyll and Hyde Gift

This is a miniature replica of the door used in the set which symbolized the transformation to Hyde.

Cripple of Innishman Gift

This is an egg, as smashed in the play upon a head, on a plastic disk made from little melting pellets. Simple design.

Lonesome West gift

Each Cast member got one hand painted painted saint that survived the smashing on the set of Lonesome West. The cast party also has a bowl of saint heads collected at the end of each production.

Watch for more images in our next article later this week!

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