Since the pandemic started and we started to stream productions, occasionally our patrons have asked us "How did you do that?" For our latest production, The Real Inspector Hound, one question that was lobbed our way was "How did you do the tea scene?"
If you didn't see the production, you can watch the one-minute scene above. Even if you did see the production, you may want to watch to refresh your memory.
In the scene, Mrs. Drudge (Jennifer Sherron Stock) serves tea to Cynthia (Betsy Ross), Felicity (Katherine O'Sullivan) and Magnus (Larry Stephen Hines). She passes a cup to each of them. Simple to do on stage and — believe it or not — equally simple to create the illusion on Zoom even though the actors are in different locations around New York City.
Although we could rehearse with any old cup, Executive Producer Halina Malinowski scoured the internet for matching tea cups. When she finally found the perfect cups, she purchased the cups and had them sent to the actors.
When Mrs. Drudge passes the cup to each actor, you will notice her moving her cup towards the screen/camera then dropping it below the line of sight. Likewise, the actor who was passed the cup will pick up their cup (which was on their desk or table, towards the screen/camera) and bring it up into the line of sight and take a sip of their freshly poured tea. Easy peasy!
We love to share our insider secrets with you. If you have a question about how we did something, click here to send us your question. We'll let you know when we answer the question.