I do realize that with the blog break (i.e. I was lazy and let Instagram take over) there are a lot of events that got missed. I do hope to post some about the theater stuff I have worked on over that time (and going back to 2012) … especially since it’s been a big part of my life for a while.
If my memory is spitting out the right information, I haven’t really posted at all about (or very little about): The Light in the Piazza (Director, 2012) Avenue Q (Director, 2013) Other Desert Cities (Director, 2014)
Urinetown: The Musical (Director, 2014) Vanya and Sonya and Masha and Spike (Director, 2016) ***** Death and the Maiden (Actor, 2015) Company (Actor, 2015) The Fox on the Fairway (Actor, 2015) Twelve Angry Men (Actor, 2016) Into the Woods (Actor, 2016) God of Carnage (Actor, 2017)
And … we are underway! I am, yet again, directing HART‘s fall musical. This time it’s “The Light in the Piazza” (by Adam Guettel and Craig Lucas).
We had auditions at the beginning of August and it’s literally taken us four weeks to get to really rolling. Guys are always an issue with doing theater around here. We didn’t have enough guys (or the right age guys) show up. So, the Music Director and I spent about a week and a half just trying to get the principals cast and then another couple of weeks trying to get the ensemble all filled out. It’s been the worst time I have ever had trying to get a show up and running. I hate having to run around and track people down for parts. It stresses me out and makes me anxious. But, we finally did get all the roles filled out with good folks.
Now, it’s dealing with scheduling. Various folks have conflicts and that’s made the last two weeks fun. Plus, our lead guy won’t be in until next week.
We are one month out now from opening … so hopefully I won’t screw it all up. There are still sets, costumes, lights and sound to worry about. Gah!
Six weeks of rehearsals, six performances … and it’s all over.
After thinking about this show for so long, it feels kinda weird to be shut of it. It took about three years to find the right cast. I gotta give kudos to Jack (who played Tupolski) for hanging in there that long. I gave him the script to read and he immediately said “Yes.” Over the past few years, I had various people on the hook but they all fell through for various reasons. I have to say that I am glad. Last Spring, I hooked Steve (who played Ariel) into accepting … and then Colin agreed to play Katurian. I had been wanting Colin for the show for a while and I was really, really excited when he agreed to take on that massive role. I fretted over the role of Michal for several more months until Justin worked on “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” After some harassment, he came on board and we were off and running.
I felt weird accepting compliments from people that came to see the show. Sure I directed it and came up with the lighting and sound design … but those four guys are the ones who made “The Pillowman” what it was. The acting was pretty much electric every night and I am bummed that I only got to see it on it’s feet for three dress rehearsals and the six performances.
I gotta say that I am really, really going to miss this show.
Yes. I have been MIA the past few weeks … but with good reason. Our Studio production of “The Pillowman” is now up and running. It’s been a busy few weeks trying to get everything together. I decided to do things the hard way and turn the main stage of the theater into a black box space. It’s been a lot of extra work but it helps give the show a little bit of edge due to changing things up for the audience. Folks that have come to see the show have been very complimentary. It’s nice to know folks appreciate theater that’s more “edgy” and not just your average “run of mill” stuff.
It helps that I have a damn fine cast. They have worked hard and are giving really fantastic performances in the show. I also have to give a big hat tip to my pal, Reed, for helping me find the right music for the show.
I saw “The Pillowman” several years ago on a trip to NYC and loved it. Obviously, I have been wanting to see HART mount a production of it. The show has been bandied about in discussion for a few years … even going so far as to be suggested for the main stage. But, it’s not really the kind of show that our main stage audiences would support very well. Too much language and violence (or at least talk of violence). A few years ago I started passing the script around to folks for a possible production in the Feichter Studio. It never seemed to work out with the people I was bugging. And then suddenly last year, actors started to commit! So, now I am finally directing “The Pillowman” with a cast of four super fine actors (and a cameo by one super cute girl). We had our first rehearsal tonight and have a few more weeks to go before we open on February 24th. Viva la Theatre!
Finally you can see some photos from the Haywood Arts Regional Theatre’s production of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” … directed by yours truly and starring a bunch of damn fine actors. See more after the jump! Continue reading “Photo Evidence: “Spelling Bee””→
Here we are nearly a month after “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” closed … and I miss it. There are very few shows that I have directed or have acted in that I can say that about. I can probably count them on one hand (well, maybe one and a half).
We (Chuck, the music director, and I) cast the show at the beginning of August. We had a really good turn out … and a little bit of drama about who did or did not get parts in the show. Rehearsals went fairly smooth (except for that one choreography rehearsal). We did have a bit of scare that I was going to have to step in at the final dress rehearsal for someone. But, we made it through that and then suddenly we were at opening night! And then, just as suddenly, we were striking the set.
The show was good … really good. It’s one of the few shows (again let’s count on one and a half hands) I have directed where I watched every single night and was never bored. That’s the sign of the good cast. They kept coming up with new angles and funny bits making the show fresh and exciting to watch.
And the audience volunteers always kept everyone on their toes. Sometimes it was fun and exciting to watch the audience members and sometimes it was just plain scary. Kudos to the cast for not totally loosing their shit with the peskier of the volunteers.
Sure, I wish the audience attendance had been better. Is it the time of year (September/October) that causes that? Or is it the fact the the show is relatively unknown outside of theater-minded circles? Or maybe the economy played a factor? Probably a combination of all three. Regardless, we didn’t have quite the ticket sales that we had hoped for. Oh well … it’s their loss. The people that came had a really good time.
We sang. We danced. We made with some really funny and entertaining theater.
Three weekends didn’t seem like enough. I cried during the final number at the final performance.
I am still alive … and super busy! We (the cast and I) are currently knee deep in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Auditions were at the beginning of August and we have been working hard ever since to make this a really cool show. It’s been relatively stress free so far (only pissed off a few people over casting). What helps is having a good cast and some great folks helping behind the scenes. There’s still a lot to do before we open on September 30th!
So, here’s the poster I did for the upcoming production of “Hay Fever” at the local theater. You didn’t get to see the poster I did for the big summer production of “Gypsy” because, quite frankly, it sucked. Sucked big time.
“Deathtrap” is now officially over after five weeks of rehearsals and seven performances. All in all the show turned out great. We found out a few things along the way … most notably how you can end the show when the crucial “crossbow bit” goes awry. I must say that it did surprise me that every audience would gasp in shock when Cliff would make his surprise return to the stage … except for that one dead audience we had. I am not sure that a bomb in the building would have gotten them going.
Here’s a picture of the “Deathtrap” Cast and Crew.
The first weekend of “Deathtrap” is done and done. Opening night seemed a little shaky (nerves, I think) … but the cast was on their game for the Saturday and Sunday performances. They were so much on their game that a major (and I mean MAJOR) on stage prop malfunction at the climax of the show on Saturday night got worked around. Kudos to them for that!
Four more performances (Thursday – Sunday) and it will be history. Be sure to make it out to see us if you are in the area.
It’s of interest that we had a slight run in (it was a polite one) last week with Ira Levin’s estate. Apparently, the show is supposed to be billed as “Ira Levin’s Deathtrap” and not just “Deathtrap.” Who knew?