Paul Hansen's setup for Bruce at Seattle Rep in Seattle, Washington.
"Bruce is a new show by Robert Taylor and Richard Oberacker, writers of Bandstand, based on Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb's journals of the trials and foibles during production of the film. I worked closely with orchestrator Greg Anthony Rassen in a bit of a daring contest to see how far we could push the percussion. (Greg: "You got a typewriter?" Me: "Manual or electric?")
The orchestra was stationed in the theater's rehearsal studio next to the main stage, and was considered a part of the set. We were set up and lit as if we were in John Williams' studio, and the audience could pass by and see us before and after."
Above: "A bit of vibe bowing in this one. Kept an extra bow on the stand just in case."
Above: "The paint bucket at the drum kit represented the shark barrels used by Spielberg to represent the presence of the shark while the mechanical shark 'Bruce' was out of comission, which it often was. It was eventually cut as we couldn't get the effect across, but it stayed in the setup as a stop for the typewriter carriage."
Photo above "The Burma Bell made for a good old sounding Ship's Bell."
Above: "The first scenes of the show feature many typewriter passages, underscoring the development of the screenplay. End of line dings and carriage returns were specifically notated - a zil mounted on the Miller Machine made for a nice carriage bell. The carriage also is a handy place to stash eggs for quick access."
Above: "No, the ocarina isn't in this show, but the wooden spoons are. Multiple chime hammers, as they could easily go astray in the rapid 'drive-by chime' entrances."
Above: "Multiple Mark Trees with DIY mutes which have never failed me in 30 years."
Above: "A lone crotale on Miller Machine waiting for its single entrance when Spielberg picks up the book for the first time."
Above: "Popcorn Snare with an extra clip-on snare for extra zing."
Above: "Our cozy headquarters - the screen gave us our full view of the stage"In 1974, a young, unknown Steven Spielberg set out to film a best-selling novel.
Invading a sleepy fishing island off Cape Cod to shoot on the open ocean, he battled weather, water, hostile locals, an exploding budget, endless delays, and a highly dysfunctional mechanical star named Bruce.
Join us for a musical journey of perseverance, creativity, risk, and resilience that unleashed the hit film that would change American cinema forever. Based on the book The Jaws Log by Carl Gottlieb and featuring an entirely original score, Bruce is a world-premiere musical you can really sink your teeth into.