Thursday, July 24, 2008

My new job...again

So... after much drama (not the good kind) at my middle school last year, we decided I shouldn't return.

At the end of June.

That led to much anxiety on my part, a flurry of job applications for any position I could conceivably do, and my considering leaving the classroom.
However, I have now landed a dream job: a high school theatre program of my very own at a large school with wonderful facilities. I have a 50-ish seat "teaching theatre" which is my classroom, and a 1500 seat auditorium with full lighting, sound and fly systems. Granted, much of it needs love to really be awesome, but that work was started by the previous teacher. The VPA Dept Chair is the Choir Director, there is also a band program, a dance program, and strong visual/fine arts.

I need to pick a show for the Fall. We have the rights for South Pacific secured for Spring, and I'd like to do something light-hearted with a medium cast that could either contrast it or work thematically with it. I have sixty kids in tech theatre classes, so a big set is doable, or a set with multiple locations so I can play with the flies.

Any brainstorming help y'all could do for me would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

6 Comments:

At 9:48 PM, Blogger Holbrook said...

I vote for Neil Simon's "Rumors." Ten roles (two of them fairly small), equal number of boys and girls, largish interior set, funny as hell. Also, since the play was written in 1988, you could set it in that year and have lots of fun with the fashion and decorating choices.

Or, if you're a glutton for punishment and want a heart attack your first year at this school, try "Noises Off."

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Emily said...

The old teacher was going to do Noises Off... I think I need two years to get there, though I do have awesome ideas for a revolving set.

I'm avoiding Neil Simon because he's so expensive and I have no budget. I may not be able to avoid him because he is so frickin' good.

Some thoughts that have been suggested: You Can't Take it With You, Spoon River Anthology, The Boys Next Door.

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Sandi said...

First, congratulations! That sounds like a great position! Where is it, might I ask? You still in LA?

It might seem too edgy for what you have, but I saw a presentation of Marat/Sade at the state drama competition that knocked my socks off. That was their "traveling/ competition version, but I heard raves about the "built-in" full length version that that their school (Similarly large and well-staffed as yours) put on and it was positively sumptuous.

"Rumors" is also a good choice, and I've seen two versions of "Boys next door" at different state competitions that were great. I"ve been a part of two versions of "Noises Off" and while it was a huge audience hit both times, it was the technical nightmare from hell. We pulled it off, but nearly died in the process.

In other news, I'm directing "Moon for the Misbegotten" next year at a local theatre. I finally got my dream cast and tech crew to go ahead with it, so they approved my pitch. IT's the first time anybody has done O'Neill in this town that anybody can remember. I'm stoked but already frantically searching for ways to keep the pacing of this thing quick enough but not too rushed.

Congrats again!

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger P. M. Gibson said...

As far as finding balance in your season,

'South Pacific' is very male-heavy, and even if you slap mustaches on your girls and let them be sailors, the world view in that show is that ladies are for oogling and for lovin' but not much for thinkin'.

So you might investigate something to celebrate the girls who will almost invariably be the majority of participants in your program. What about a bill of one-acts including "Xingu" and "Roman Fever" ?
I'm actually not the right person to suggest girl-heavy shows, having spent my school career at an all-boys school and a school where the theater was 50-50, but by putting this out there I'm hoping that someone will suggest some more gems that will allow the young women in the program a chance to stretch themselves as performers and have the majority of roles.

And most of all, congratulations both to you and to your school, for snagging someone as wonderful as you! Lucky Them!

 
At 7:54 PM, Blogger Meg said...

yeah, that above comment is mine. Really tedious story on why my posting name is my grandmothers...
Sorry!
-Meg

 
At 11:48 PM, Blogger Emily said...

Great point, Meg... I've pretty much settled on Rumors - I want to do a full length (I've spent the past years doing far too many one acts and "scene fests." I haven't directed a full length play in 3 years! Ugh!

If anyone has thoughts on a good full length with a great set and good female parts, let me know soon!

 

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