Production manager preps for ‘The Country Wife’

By Yudith Macias

ELAC professor Francois-Pierre Couture dedicated his days teaching  students about the theater setup. Couture is currently in duel roles as the Scenic and Lighting Director as well as production manager.

He first traveled to California from Montreal, Canada to attend UCLA. He completed his masters degree in 2003 

A typical day for him is about 10 to 15 hours long. 

On campus, he is busy teaching and training students how to efficiently work together to set up shows. He trains students by assigning them work on set. 

Some help with the prop designs while others work on the scenery designs. 

This helps the students to learn and understand how the process works so that they can put their own work on the stage.

As production manager, he makes sure that all aspects of the production are on schedule. 

He makes sure that the students and staff involved have calendars and resources they need so that the production could happen in a timely fashion. 

He also checks over the resources to confirm they are coordinated. 

There are many departments working on top of each other, like the Costume, Hair and Makeup Design Department and the Directing Department, so Couture, along with the director, designers and supervising faculty staff  make sure to coordinate everyone so they can work as efficiently as possible. 

Productions take a long time to prepare, says Couture. 

When students and staff are not actively working on one, they are planning and preparing for the next production. 

Couture says that the production team is going to have a meeting to discuss the details for their next spring play. 

Toward the middle of summer, they will have meetings for the fall production.

“‘The Country Wife’ is a restoration comedy about love and unfaithfulness,” says Couture. 

It is about men and women trying to have affairs with the other characters. 

Though the play itself was controversial at the time of its release– the 1700s for its ‘sexual explicitness,’ Couture mentions that the production itself is a little spicy but at the same time is not putting sexuality on stage. “It’s not geared that way,” he says. Anyone can come in and watch the production.

“Not only this, but because this play is from the 1700s, the language and the way the actors are portraying the characters is of the era,” Couture says. It is good training for the students, which allows for them to better understand different scripts in old English. 

“The Country Wife” opens on Friday, at 8 pm in the P2 Proscenium Theater. Tickets are available for purchase now at: Ticket prices are $10 General and $12 at the door.

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