Posts Tagged ‘Stage Manager’
This week we continued with our rehearsals and welcomed back that bundle of energy better known ans Stage Manager Shelby, who has been invaluable in her willingness to not only organize and clarify in true stage management fashion, but has also begun lending us her expertise in helping with the musical details.
There has been a lot of absenteeism, and a couple more kids have dropped out of the project this week. But we have our core group of the little faithfuls as well as the energetic weekenders whose mom’s busy schedules preclude their attending the weekday rehearsals. The show itself will be more of a recital, and hopefully low key, fun and a way for our students to learn the joy of creativity and collaborative work.
Welcome to the portion of my life where it begins to imitate art. As we move along in the production of TBCPE I find myself feeling more and more like Grace Bradley as we move from blocking and repeated attempts to keep everybody quiet backstage to actual acting skills, set construction, props gathering and…well, more repeated attempts to ask for quiet backstage.
My world begins to revolve now around these 28 shiny young faces in a very real way, as they begin to get a clue about the magic that lies in wait for them on December 17th. My job now goes beyond teaching them and encouraging them and costuming them and reassuring parents and begging for help from the same parents to actually beginning to let the kids themselves take control over the show with the very important backstage guidance of the stage manager.
It never fails, and while we have our work cut out for us: new space, new program, no budget, almost no contacts, almost no lights, and a cast of exuberant, dedicated but largely inexperienced young actors – it doesn’t matter. Because what really matters is the way they will all feel when the curtain goes up and they realize that they are ready. And the way they will feel when it is over and success has been had by all.
There is nothing like it. And I love being part of this process with them.
In rehearsal things are winding up as we approach the Thanksgiving break. And of course after we come back is when things will take off at a much quicker pace; the costumes and the set and the props will start coming in and as we move along the idea of the performances will get more and more real to the kids until they find that they are ready for opening night, almost without realizing it.
We have a stage manager now; a college student with a lot of experience behind and on the stage. She is lively and a take charge kind of girl, which I love as I have not become any better at being a right brain person since moving to SC, believe me! and there have been parents coming out of the woodwork to help, and that is so wonderful. Things are going well, and are right where I know they need to be. If feels so good to be directing again.
Rehearsal is going well. Perhaps there are a few less church ladies than I had hoped for, and perhaps I am about to be completely overwhelmed by the production details and it is true, yes, that I still do not have a stage manager. And a couple of the kids didn’t show up again today and this may very well present a problem as I am not at all sure what is up with them. And yes we have changed some of the words to suit the more conservative population here in this area, and there are a hundred jobs to be done that I have no idea how to do, and there is no cross over nor is there even a clear path backstage much less a backstage area.
But if there is one thing I have learned it is that the show will go on. It may not be the most efficiently produced production ever, and the children involved may be some of the most inexperienced kids I have worked with ever, but I know something that other people may not realize: This show will be wonderful, if only by virtue of the pride and joy on the faces of the young actors. It can’t fail.
It happens every time.
Rehearsals are progressing well – we have 2/3 of the show skeleton blocked. I am still short a few church ladies and while I am not allowing myself to panic just yet it is beginning to weigh on my mind. We are chock full of Firemen volunteers and this is a very good thing! And the construction helpers are making themselves known. We even had a mama tell us she was not available for a meeting as she was scheduled to have a baby, but she would call in. The producer and I assured her that people who were giving birth were excused from any production responsibilities. Amazing!
I also am still in need of an accompanist as well as a light and sound designer and operator. And a stage manager. I really need a stage manager.
We had our first rehearsal yesterday and though a few of the cast members did not come in – this is not unusual but always disconcerting – we had a very good time and I got a chance to see and talk with the kids for the first time as the actors they will become.
We have our work cut out for us in many ways – an inexperienced cast, no budget, a huge need for technical support, an awkward performance space with no actual exits – and while I do have some concern I am not terribly worried. If there is one thing I have learned in the world of Youth Theatre it is that the pure joy of what we are doing is enough to help us surmount the insurmountable. We will find what we need and (bravely said) if I must be the stage manager so be it! The 30 shiny faces we cast will provide the reason for the project to succeed. And succeed it will. It never fails.
I have this evening cast 26 delightful shiny faces in Center Stage’s first big show, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I was a little worried yesterday as there were only 8 kids. 8 Delightful kids to be sure, but only 8. And today they kept walking in off the street until until at last we had the group we needed.
And ok, yes, I still have no stage manager, set designer, tech director or even a producer. But we have a beautiful, talented cast.
The rest will come.