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Jess Crawford


PDX OPERAbeat | A Company Blog is the blog for all things Portland Opera, featuring a variety of guest contributors who will provide insider's tidbits on all we do to celebrate the beauty and breadth of opera. Jess Crawford is our primary blogger. Jess spends much of her time eating enormous amounts of cake, making long lists of books she'll probably never read, and challenging people to arm-wrestling contests. During the day (and sometimes at night) she is Portland Opera's music librarian. She writes more about her escapades at her personal blog:

Portland Opera goes to the prom

We recently threw our annual company holiday party. Long-time readers of this blog may remember last year's party, which was game night themed. We've also had a Hollywood party, an 80s party, and a tiki party. We don't mess around when it comes to celebrations.

The theme this year is one we've been thinking about for years: PROM! There were seven of us on this year's holiday party committee. We take our jobs very seriously. We filmed a short video invitation:



We sent the staff a "press release." We set up a table in our monthly lunch get-together so that people could pick up their tickets. Unlike previous years, we scheduled the party to take place during a period when there was no rehearsal scheduled in the room immediately before or after the party. Most years we only have one day to set up and one day to tear down because there are other things going on in the space. This year, we had all week. And we needed it, in order to take our music studio from this:




to this:




We raided the funeral wreaths from the Giovanni set (which was mostly being scrapped) and used the flowers to make corsages and/or boutonierres for every member of the staff.





(necessary raiding of the vending machine may have happened during corsage night)


I built a balloon arch.


balloon arch


We also built a nine-hole miniature golf course, located in the rehearsal room next door. We raided the prop shop. Turns out a cardboard bazooka takes up a lot of space.



(fellow committee member Emily Stevens holds up the bazooka on our return trip from the prop shop)

Mini golf setup:








We used the fat suit from Rigoletto for one hole. We were hoping to figure out a way to get people to putt through it but we had to settle for using it as a hazard. But not before this happened:



Lauren Bryan and I in our best awkward prom pose. That fat suit is heavy.


The finished product was fun. We set up the lightboard in order to avoid using the overhead fluorescents. It also made everything look cooler. And sometimes a little creepy.






(the bazooka in action. you had to putt through it!)


Not pictured: the 'blind' hole, where we set up the maestro cam to point onto the hole, and then blocked it all with our pipe and drape, so you had to use the video monitors to aim.


Next door, prom was pretty awesome.








(bow tie and dress cookies!)




It was a pretty great party. The staff submitted photos from their own proms and everybody got their own 'senior superlative.' There was food and punch and a dance floor, and fun party dresses! Four of us even came in our original gowns.


In short: we know how to party.