Posted by: Lauren Epsenhart (August 18, 2009)
So, it's that time of year again, time to pick a school show. This can be super fun or make you want to run for the hills. Everything affects your desicion...cast size, sets/scenery, casting, performance space (having a space would be a great start), accesibility to students, and budget. Now that I've freaked you out, take a breath and take it a step at a time. Let's begin with...dum, dum, dummmm-THEME.
Shows can be chosen based on months, holidays, events, locations, seasons, etc. Get creative. For example, school begins around August/September in most schools around the country. The weather is still warm. Most kids have one thing on their minds: Summer. So why not indulge your students. Pick a show that stays within the theme of summer. ONCE ON THIS ISLAND is a great show to pick. This show offers the sound and feel of what summer embodies. The music and lyrics are buoyant and rich. The book is mystical, which, allows for creative sets and costuming. This show may also be a way to bring the classroom to summer vacation. If chosen for the fall, preperation needs to be made in the Spring. Rehearsal's can be planned for the summer. Hey, learning doesn't stop for summer vacation.
If summer isn't the theme you were hoping for, try choosing a show with an academic theme. SCHOOL HOUSE ROCKLIVE, JUNIOR is an excellent choice. Nothing says back to school like Three is the Magic Number and Conjunction Junction. Costumes and sets are minimal. Cast size is medium but flexible. The piece is a revue so doubling is possibkle if cast is small. Any other suggetions?
Posted by: Lauren Epsenhart (August 14, 2009)
MTI recently released Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA "School Adition". I think this is the ideal show for a school with a diverse population. The roles in the show are multicultural which allows for flexible casting. Consider this when choosing a show for the season. It can potetnially draw in some newbies to your program.