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Posted by: Angelyn Dorn (March 17, 2010)

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We just finished Seussical the Musical Jr. at W.E. Parker Elementary in Edgefield, SC.  The morning of our first evening performance, we found out that Mayzie la Bird had strep throat and could not perform.  Thank goodness we had a strong audition for that part and that elementary children have nerves of steel.  A 3rd grader who had auditioned for the part stepped up and did a great job.  We had 3 performances and by coaching her a couple of hours before the 1st show, no one even knew she had not done the part all along.  Sometimes we have official understudies for our shows, but this time this was the only part that we had ended up with a 3 way tie for the part.  

Backstage Blog Contest

Posted by: Derek Critzer (March 17, 2010)


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well tech week rolled around for aladdin jr. and we had a great design for the show. we had platforms on wheels the split to swallow up the evil Jafar at the end of the show, we also used the platform splitting to reveal the magic genie. Anyway the last tech rehearsal (night before show) the platforms were closing after swallowing up Jafar, little did we know the magic lamp (plastic) had fell in between the platforms well when the platforms closed they crushed the lamp. I PANICED...where was i finding another lamp overnight? I managed to find one in a costume show about an hour from home....I bought 5 to be safe. The rehearsals were stressful, but isn't that why we love them? with out the problems that we have to over come there would be no challenge? to me having no challenge takes the fun out of it. This show was a milestone in my theatre life, and I cant wait to tackle more stressful rehearsals to come.

Backstage Blog Contest

Posted by: Derek Critzer (March 17, 2010)


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During the rehearsals for Aladdin Jr I had many ideas for the staging of the show...all magical...most not realistic. I finally Settled on using backlight effects, I ordered a very expensive backlight on Ebay, over a month before the show opened. The day before the show when the backlight had still not arrived i found myself on top of a ladder, which was on top of 4 acting blocks, which was on top of a 4 foot platform with wheels on it (DEATH TRAP) taking down the florescent work lights and replacing the bulbs with backlight bulbs (i only managed to break one!) Over all the rehearsal process was smooth, considering we never rehearsed because of the will winter we had...the snow made it extremely difficult to hold rehearsals....but we managed...to hold rehearsals most 6 and 7 hours in length on a concrete floor in a warehouse with poor heating so we froze and our feet hurt but the show went on!

Backstage Blog Contest

Posted by: Derek Critzer (March 17, 2010)


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Rehearsals are well...interesting when you take on way to much with a show. Im 19 years old and recently directed aladdin jr. Not only was i directing the show I played the role of Iago (the most fun i've ever had in any role, mainly because of the costume). I then did the costume, set, and light design...anyway i had never planned on taking on this much. In the beginning of the rehearsal process I was directing the show and just focusing on the one large task at hand. well..our Iago quit and I took on the role. We had a very short rehearsal process and I didn't have time to find anyone so i jumped right in. At our very first rehearsal we decided to knock friend like me out of the water...in the process of the genie learning how to throw aladdin into a flip (which was a bad idea from the start) the cd player was completely destroyed and we had nothing to play the music on...it was bad luck from the start. 

For Parents

Posted by: Caty B (March 13, 2010)

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Today I was in rehearsal for our school's production of The Producers. A tad late, a friend of mine walks in looking a little distraught. I honestly don't think I've ever seen her look sad, she's a pretty strong person. I asked her if something was wrong and she completely broke down in tears and told me that her parents decided today would be a good day to tell her that she has no direction in life, that she isn't remotely intelligent and that she has absolutely no talent. They refused to drive her to rehearsal and if she wanted to go, she would need to walk. They proceeded to tell her that they would not pay for her college education, because her only passion is theatre and she has no talent for and because of this, she'll be an undecided major, which she can do anywhere.

To all of that, I must say that I lost a lot of respect for my friends parents. She is one of best tap dancers I've ever seen, one of the best actors our drama magnet program has and is 12th in our class. For fear of disappointing her parents, she decided to major in chinese and claimed that she was very excited about, which is a total lie, but not one that she ever intended to hurt anyone. I am positivey sickened by the fact she won't be able to attend the school of her choice despite getting several substantial scholarships from practically every school she's applied to.

Parents, the reason I want to tell you this rather disheartening story is because I don't want anyone to have to go through what my friend went through today. Please support what your child is passionate about, because if you don't they will only end up half as successful at whatever it is than if you support them. Her story made me realize how blessed I am. My parents have constantly pushed me to be better at my passion. I know I'm not THE most talented or THE most pretty person, but I have drive and ambition and I'm willing to learn. If you see what I've done, multiply that by 10 for my friend. She's stunning. No kid desearves the verbal abuse that she's gone through. No one can pick their passions and as a parent I hope that you can allow your child to grow into what they hope to be.

The past few months I've started seeing some of the kids around me for what they truely are. One is the golden boy who everyone loves, but because no one pushed him, he has nothing to say and no one that he can truly rely on. One is hard working and driven and talented and unique, but has to take the train to and from school because his mom won't take the time. And the friend I've told you about before, doesn't speak up for herself because her parents are always telling her she isn't good enough. The things these kids could accomplish with support is beyond comprehension. But because of my parents and how well they've treated me, I don't envy them for one second.

First Post!

Posted by: Lizzie Swerdlin (March 11, 2010)

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Hello, all! I'm Lizzie, I'm from Long Island and I'm in the second semester of my senior year of high school. For the normal teenager, this means slack-off central. Time to go to the beach instead of math class, abuse my teachers and take a few extra "well deserved" off periods.

Not for me! Despite the fact that I do have 3 off periods, I have two musicals to be a part of in the period of 3 months. Mid-February brought casting for Kiss Me Kate, and the show is next weekend. "What? Kiss Me Kate? The 3 hour Cole Porter encore-heavy phenomenon? 4 weeks? Can that be done?" Yes, indeed it can! Granted, I'm in the ensemble, but I've spent more time at school in the past few weeks than I'd like to admit.

Immediately after this show are auditions for Grease, a student run "road show" production. We have 4 weeks, including Spring Break, to put this one on... it'll be guerilla warfare, theater style. As the assistant stage manager of that production, I'll probably be running around like a chicken with my head cut off to make sure everything runs as planned, while helping to choreograph all of the musical numbers. Needless to say, I'm going to be very busy. I'm excited, though! I love spending time with my school's Thespian Troupe. 

"CSI--Miami" Writing Secret?

Posted by: Rodney Robbins (March 11, 2010)

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It's a good thing I watched "CSI--Miami" this week--otherwise, I wouldn't be able to finish writing my new play.

You see, I am about to write the Big Reveal that is the climax of the story. Sadly, my scene cards indicate the story has 6 more scenes AFTER the ending. There is no way my audience is going sit around for another 20 minutes after the play is over! So, what is a playwright supposed to do?

"CSI--Miami" to the Rescue!

On Monday, I watched our hero, Horatio Cain, wrapping up another case. He had the bad guy dead to rights and justice was served. Then the writers stuck in a little scene that was just a couple of lines of dialog in the hall. Then, there was a little bit of action out in front of the CSI building. Finally, we saw a cute little scene about the lab rats being afraid to take the elevator (a dead body came through the ceiling of an elevator in the show's opening). THEN, they were done. I thought, "I can do that!"

So, I still have my Big Reveal, only the next scene combines two short bits the audience will want to see wrapped up. In the following scene, my lead character is holding an important prop while he says his goodbyes. And finally, the epilog is still there, but has been shortened by getting rid of one character and given a shocking VISUAL TWIST in the last two seconds of the play.

You too can combine the important elements from two scenes into one scene, make props carry their own weight, reduce unnecessary characters and make your plays more visual and therefore faster paced. When you do, thank Horatio Cain.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Posted by: Nicole Nason (March 11, 2010)


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This show is quite an undertaking and I am so glad that we had LOTS of extra rehearsal time.  Every group number is large and where I usually have chorus people play multiple roles I'm glad that I didn't with this cast.  I'm also glad that we rented the largest costumes as the rest of them is enough.

Philadelphia: City of Brotherly (and Artistic?) Love

Posted by: Kaitlin Davis (March 10, 2010)

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As a youngster growing up in South Jersey, if I mentioned a trip to "the city," friends instinctively knew what I was talking about... Philadelphia, of course! Don't get me wrong, I adore New York City... but I will forever love the city that introduced me to professional theater, my favorite and most magical dancewear shop, and a beautiful museum only thirty minutes from my doorstep. Geographic superiority complex ignored, apparently I am not the only one who sees the beauty of our nation's former capital. Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, recently lauded Philly as a model "arts city." To read the complete text of the article, click here... and if you get the chance to visit, don't forget to try the cheesesteak!

Guys and Dolls cue-to-cue

Posted by: Matt Spencer (March 9, 2010)

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Cue-to-cue, can either be alot of fun, or a painful long experieance.

Luckily for Guys and Dolls it was a fun time. We worked alot on just the lights, and not concentrating on anything else.

We open next weekend, I'll try to get some photos up before then, but We're really excited. the Gold Cast (my cast) worked the cue to cue. the Blue cast will run tomorrow for a full run.

We add our 4 principals to the show tomorrow as well, our main principle and our assistant/sports principal will act at the Trainer and the Heavyweight.

Our other two assistant Principals will act as the M.C.s in the Hot box!