Posted by: Jason Broussard (January 28, 2010)
So tomorrow is opening night for our schools 3rd musical production, THE WIZARD OF OZ. It will be our second entry into the Tommy Tune awards. Everyone is going crazy! The show is really coming along but there are a lot of little things that still need to get done before we open.
Personally, I'm most worried about my quick change at the end coming from Scarecrow to Hunk. We cut quite a bit of the music for the cyclone scene so I REALLY have to hurry. We even made a chart so that the costume is removed in a certain order.
Opening night is always crazy for every show I've been in but this one takes the cake. I'm also going to be filming an opening night blog video to enter into the MAGIC TO DO video contest.
Well wish my [sluck]!
Posted by: Rodney Robbins (January 27, 2010)
I believe that one way to make more money as a playwright, is to write more plays. I also believe that acting workshops and playwriting classes soak up fresh material like sponges. So, how to get your plays out of your head FAST?
In my experience, straight plays are a LOT easier to write than musicals. The flip side of that coin is that based on Broadway sales figures, musicals make a LOT more money than straight plays. In general. Either way, you still want to get those ideas out of your head and onto the page efficiently.
My suggestion? Scene cards.
"Scene cards" are 3x5 index cards with a scene location, characters, action and maybe a BIT of dialog.For example:
If you find yourself wishing for 5x8 chard, you are putting too much information on there.
I think scene cards are used more in film writing, but they work great for stage plays as well. Who says you need 75 scenes to tell a good story? Not at all. You need enough scenes to tell the story you need to tell. For my new stage play, "In the House of Many Rooms," I found I could tell the whole story in 20 scenes.
To help me get the story out of my head FAST, I'll write down all the scenes I know, then I'll write any scenes I need to fill in the gaps. Next, I read through the scene cards and see if I can tell a complete story from start to finish--just from my scene cards. When the story is working in my head, and on my scene cards, THEN I'll start writing. It's pretty easy to do a scene every day or two. Even a long, complicated scene shouldn't take more than a week. Then you just keep rolling.
I don't stop to worry about the story, the value, the theme, if I can really set a scene at a waterfall, or how I'll sell the play--I just write it all down quick as I can. Don't stop to dream up the subplot, if you didn't already do that with your scene cards, you can easily do it LATER, after you've finished writing the main story line. Don't second guess your choice of material, or your place in the universe, just write!
I'll do a quick read of yesterdays work, but basically I don't edit till I'm done writing. Then I go back, read and edit and start thinking about what kind of pizza to bring to the table reading.
Posted by: Matt Spencer (January 25, 2010)
We've been rehearsing the show since we came back from winter break. We have a brand new choreographer. She is amazing. She’s bringing a totally fresh approach to Guys & Dolls. All of the cast is being challenged to bring new and crazy stuff to the table.
In the “Oldest Established” there are back flips. “Luck Be a Lady” features back rolls and flying gamblers. Havana has many, many, many lifts. Dancing with the stars would be proud.
Vocals are always fun. The next two weeks we split the genders as we learn all the music separately.
Drama is as usual, fun and creative. While working with our director on accents (my new York accent needs improvement!) he’s creating a world of New York, very different from the one established today.
Posted by: Caty B (January 23, 2010)
Well, since I have blogged last, I've had my first 2 college auditions (Boston Conservatory and Emerson College).
BoCo: I started with a dance audition at 10 am with about 14 other kids. The first part was she sat down with all of us, introduced herself (Michelle Chassé) and then she talked about the program, what she wanted to see from us in our time together and then ran the audition as though it was a class. We did a very short traveling ballet combo to Bad Romance by Lady GaGa. I will tell you that after this, even if you completely suck at dancing (like myself), you can't be nervous. I just don't see it as a possibility. It was just plain fun after that. We then did a much longer combo that was sort a Fosse style, sort of a Gene Kelly style to a Bernstein peice. She really wanted us to act through the dance. DO THAT. It's not the first or the last time I've heard that. It is what dance is about and what makes it interesting.
(I had to go home between my dance call and my acting/voice call to print 2 more resumes. Thank God I lived fairly close. Don't do that to yourself. Print a bajillion copies of your resume)
At about 3 I had my acting/voice audition. 2 monologues -1 contemp (Albee, Miller, blah blah blah. Not stuff like LaBute) 1 classical, 2 songs -1 pre1965 (legit), 1 post (pop/belt). I did "First Moment" from Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin's Savage/Love, one of Kate's monologues from Taming of the Shrew, "Raunchy" from 110 in the Shade, and "Just a Housewife" from Working. I didn't forget any words and they went by just fine. I don't know about exceptional, but I managed. I was then invited to sit down with the two people evaluating me (Neil Donohoe and Katie Shinay) and they asked me a few questions pertaining to a form I had to fill out about my music experience; things like: "What voice part do you normally sing in choir?" "How are you with harmonies?" ("great" *check mark* awesome) "Do you normally sing in your head voice or chest voice?" To the last question, I was about to freak out. My first voice lesson with my present teacher, he told me to forget about head and chest voice and think about my voice as one long string. It helped A LOT. So I kind of just BS'd my answer and said head voice because that's what I used to do. I guess I'd been in my chest voice because they asked me to sing something in my head voice. I sang Perfect from Edges. They were very nice, chill, happy to be there.
Emerson: Today I had to be at the audition from 9-1 (I ended up being there until 1:30). We checked in, got our pictures taken (instead of a headshot) and were told to get in our dance clothes because that's what we were doing first. After changing, we went into a classroom (there were something like 15 kids) and were given a spiel on the school, we were allowed to ask questions about the school. This was with Stephen Terrell, who was administering our entire audition. He was very friendly, very chill, I think his talk with us is what got me to not be so nervous. We went into a dance room and did a very simple (although when sped up, I look spastic and can't do it) dance to "You Can't Stop the Beat" which was fun. He also told everyone to act through the dance. DOOOO IIIT.
We then went into a holding room and volunteered to go as it went on. Even though I really wanted to go 2nd, somehow I ended up going last. 1 contemp (show off you and language easy to work with) monologue and prepare 2 songs, but not everyone did both. I only did one. This audition I did a Steph's monologue from reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute and "Raunchy" again. He worked with people on one and/or the other, see how you take direction. He stopped me like 2 lines into my monologue. Wah wah. But I got better with the direction. That's one thing I'm AWESOME at. Taking direction is my specialty, so I was pumped when he said that he'd be messing with us and do direction stuff. It made me happy. Then I banged out my song and the accompanist (Sooo good. She had perfect pitch. She could look at a song and start singing it) gave me a compliment on actually doing the music right. I held the fermatas at the beginning of the song. I guess people don't read music... also a strength of mine I suppose.
IN SHORT: Bring a bunch of copies of your headshot and resume just in case.
Have back up songs. Develop youre repertiore list. Think of songs you've done before and refresh them.
Act through your monologue of course, but don't forget about your song and the dance combo. You still need to act through everything, it's still theater and it will save your butt if you can't sing and/or act.
This has been forever long. I'll get back to you after I go to the unified in Chicago!
Much love and good thoughts-
Posted by: Kendyl Suvick (January 23, 2010)
HI! I went to the Jr. Theatre Festival this year and had a blast! All of the shows that I saw were so creative and funny! I was in a performance of "Dear Edwina Jr."(Jeter Backyard Theater a.k.a. JBT) I'd love to see what everyone else thinks of JTF and also would love to see parts of shows on YouTube that anyone has recently done. I love to see what other groups can do but I mostly love to watch these entertaining shows!
Better known as ~Kendy Kane
Posted by: George Simons (January 22, 2010)
I know the article says it is being pulled due to the director leaving over "creative differences", but I'm wondering if anyone has any idea what these creative differences were?