In the next of our interviews with cast and crew, photographer Scott Ragle tells us a bit about himself and his work. You can see Scott's photos from our shoot at the Pulgas Water Temple in our gallery.
1. What is your role in this production?
2. Can you tell us a bit about your background and experience? How did you get into this aspect of theatre?
Being an actor is my primary passion. I’ve been involved with the theater community in the Bay Area for over twenty-five years. I’ve also worked as a producer and director. I became a member of SAG-AFTRA in 1997 and joined Actors Equity in 2015. I started taking photographs of my involvement in theatre in 2012, when I realized I was working on a very special show. We had such a ‘legendary’ cast of local actors and creatives, in my opinion, and everyone still talks about that show. I captured portraits of everyone involved. They used the photos in the theatre lobby, and when I look at those photos and see how far everyone has come in the last five years, I feel proud to have captured that moment in time.
3. Is this your first time being involved with Dragon Theatre? If not, in what capacities have you been involved before?
I became involved with the Dragon in 2016, when I photographed two shows: Anna Christie by Eugene O’Neill, and Fiction by Steven Dietz.
4. What is your favorite part of what you do? What is the most challenging thing about what you do?
What’s unique about the photography work is how I find the story and capture it. Sometimes I’ve been lucky to get a shot, others have been complete failures, and others have been pleasant surprises. But, the learning part is best: I get to explore the space, get to know a side of the actor, and capture their story. After that, the exciting part is editing the photos and building the story further, and sharing them.
The most challenging thing right now is learning how to work with light, especially in the theatre. It took me some time to understand how to work without a flash, and use the lens to work in my favor. I ended up with a lot of blurry shots in the beginning. Also, not being afraid to get up close, physically. The last show I shot, Fiction, I was either laying on the floor to get the angle right, or leaving the safety of the tripod and getting up close to the action on stage. I feel like there’s an element of danger and risk to every shot, and I’m learning to trust my instinct.
5. What other theatre projects do you have coming up?
I’m waiting to find out if logistics will work in my favor to act in a production of The Scottish Play. If it all works out, that could be the Spring project. Stay tuned.
6. Who’s your favorite mythological character? (Doesn’t have to be Greek)
I first became aware of Endymion when I was a student living in Paris - I’d visit the Louvre and see so many paintings with a depiction of him, and I thought to myself, ‘yeah, this guy gets a lot of work.’ But really, the myth appealed to me because I first learned of who he was through a huge visual canvas - not by reading about him. And something about the goddess of the moon visiting him every night - well, I’m a sucker for moonlight, anyway, so I was intrigued.
7. Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself?
I drink a lot of coffee (surprised?). I ride my bike everywhere. And, while I primarily work in creative fields such as acting, directing and photography, I also do assistant casting work for film and television projects. I’m also hoping to get into video editing, too. I enjoy road trips and while there are still a lot of places to see in the world, I’ll never tire of Yosemite or Death Valley. I’m building a portfolio, which you can see at http://scottragle.photography. My acting work is at www.scottragle.com.