Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spring show

Traditionally, my school has done a musical in late May. However, changes in the last two years have made putting up a show at this time nearly impossible. There's been a big push to put more and more kids into after-school tutorials all through April (the month that Texas tests everyone), which means they can't be at rehearsals. May is also filled with tons of field trips. This year I didn't have a rehearsal with every cast member until the day before we opened, and that just doesn't work for me.

I'm thinking of changing things up a bit, and wanted to know what sounds best.

Option #1: Do the musical just like I've always done. The school expects it, and they'd be disappointed if we didn't do a musical, and when rehearsals get tough I should just suck it up.

Option #2: Do a musical, but cast it out of my Advanced Theatre class, rather than having all-school auditions. This would eliminate the after-school problem because I could rehearse in class. However, it would mean a smaller cast than we usually have with the musical, not to mention the fact that my Advanced class doesn't have a lot of singers, and it'll only have three or four boys next year. The rehearsals of the show would go smoother, but the show likely wouldn't be as good as in years past.

Option #3: Instead of a musical, do a festival of short plays. I can rehearse them all in class, and it would get even more kids involved than the musical does. It'll also be cheaper to produce, most likely. However, I'd probably take some flack for not doing a musical. Also, not all classes are equal. Sometimes I get a great class that would put up a terrific class play, and sometimes I get a class of screwups. And if I required every kid to do this, it's likely several kids just wouldn't show up. It's not like a choir show, where no one notices if there's one less alto. If a kid with a speaking part just blows it off, I don't know what to do about that.

Option #4: A Shakespeare festival. I can have my Advanced class do a Shakespeare one act, and the other classes can contribute to the festival in different ways. Variety entertainment, food service, etc. It could be a Ren Faire kind of atmosphere. However, I've never done anything remotely like this, and wouldn't know how to set it up.

Option #5: Something I haven't though of yet.

Any ideas or thoughts?


At 12:24 AM, Blogger Emily said...

option 5: pick a musical like Quilters or Working, which are written as a series of vignettes and can be rehearsed piece by piece whenever the actors in that scene/song are available.

I don't know that that's your best option, but it is an option. My school only expects a musical every other year, so I'm not under the same pressure.

Perhaps a Shakespeare, with some awesome dancing/music/fighting incorporated will draw the same audience and offer the same thrills, and can be cast from your Advanced class with supplementary ensemble pulled from all-school.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Holbrook said...

I'm limited to the Broadway Junior series of shows. They're the approved vendor for the district.

At 11:41 PM, Blogger Walker said...

Option 4 is basically what I've done for our spring play the last six years! (our wonderfully crazy choir teacher does the musical in the fall).

Pick a theme: Love and War, Kings and Queens, Magic, Clowns, whatever--then find the scenes to use. It makes rehearsals very accomodating for everyone. If a student is in scene 1 and 4, he/she only comes those days.

PLUS, there's usually at least one or two scenes that are made up of kids exclusively from my drama class. So there's less rehearsal after school-only the scenes with non-drama class students.

We usually do about a 40-50 minute first act, break for refreshments (which always follow the theme-- the year we did "Love and War" we did an English Tea. This year it was "Shakespeare on the Seven Seas", so we had tropical fruit, a seafood dip, etc.) and then a 35-40 minute second act.

You can definitely incorporate music and dance like Emily said. You can also fill in with monologues, sonnets, etc.

Whew. Sorry for the ramble. Hope this helps.



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