Friday, May 13, 2016
As we enter our final couple of performances and strike, I have some things for everyone to think about:
-Treat each remaining show as if you've never done it before. Treat every movement, every line, every set move, every thing about the show as if it requires just that much focus and attention to get just right. When we stop doing that, that's both when a show loses energy for its audience, and when mistakes happen that lead to injuries to people and things.
-Remember to be grateful...for everything! For the opportunity to do a new show, for the hard work of the wonderful people around you, for readily available food, for insights from the 'hotseat', for standing ovations, and songs that get stuck in your head. It's hard to get mad about things when you're happy to have them.
-That said, we've reached a point backstage where canoodling couples are actively getting in the way of things that need to happen and resulting in missed cues. While I'm grateful there is so much romance in the air, I need to lay down the law, as it's actively impacting the show. Regrettably, allow me to spell it out: We don't sit on each others' laps, kiss/make out, cuddle, nuzzle, grope, have deep talks where you can lose track of time, not be in your place backstage where you're needed, block entrances/exits, etc. From here out, if it happens backstage, anticipate it will be very hard to join further (SW)2 productions...it's that bad.
-Strike is on Sunday! Unless your name is listed below, you are called at 1100am, and we'll continue until we're done. Bear in mind, we know you're tired, we know you're stressed, but this is just as important a process to us as the build up. Rest well (as much as possible), eat well, stay focused, and stay motivated...the faster and more efficiently things get done, the sooner we go home. The following people will need to arrive no later than 1000am:
/Cooper (don't worry, I'll find something to do that doesn't involve knees)
/...or anyone that is available and wants to get us the heck out!
Thanks, all, for what has been a wonderful experience in nearly every way! Let's bring it home!
Friday, May 6, 2016
Thursday, May 5, 2016
First off, congratulations on performing in front of your first audience!! You guys were ready, and they were a delightful crowd. Hope all your houses will be that enthusiastic.
I have very few notes. Just a few picky things I need to say or I wouldn't be the director you have come to know and love! Haha! ;-)
PARENTS/STUDENTS: Why is the SL line always shorter than the other lines? Why is it, that the last 3 times I've watched this number, someone different was always in the front of that far left line? Can you fix that please?
KATIE: You've been quietly playing Katie in rehearsal, and tonight she exploded!! I think it was the adrenalin. You're way too over the top with the energy and enthusiasm. Bring it back down. It almost looks like there's something wrong with you, rather than you're playing youthful exuberance. Also, don't cross over to Zack on his guitar solo. Only cross to listen to Lawrence. Bring back the sweet, quiet Katie...not the manic, overly enthusiastic one. Thanks!
STUDENTS: When you do the dance for Stick It to the Man, the entire group needs to move over to SL. Lawrence is on the SR side and he's practically offstage. Spread it out and move it over.
STUDENTS: If you can, when covering the drums, try to cover the cymbals.
LIZ: Run across the catwalk in The Escape. Don't walk. You need to be in a hurry.
CLAIRE & LIZ: You're dancing is too much and too mature. Cut out the shimmies and tone it down.
STUDENTS: Time to Play was sharper than last night, but still felt off. You may need/want to run it before the show.
PROPS: Please put tea (to look like beer) in the glasses and pitcher for The Roadhouse scene.
That's all I've got! Everybody looks great; the show is running tightly, and you guys deserve to have a fantastic run. I'll be there on and off throughout the run but just want to say it's been a pleasure working with you all!!!
Break legs and have fun!!!
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
As you head into performance, please be sure to do a vocal and
physical warm-up prior to the show. Stay healthy, take care of yourselves and get as much rest as you can!
CAST: Actors backstage, please yell "Yeah" when you hear No Vacancy introduced.
PATTY: Be sure to wear your skirt for every scene except the one where you go running.
DEWEY: Great finish to Mt. Rock.
TOMIKA/MR. WILLIAMS/MR. SPENCER: Come in faster for your scene coming into the school.
STUDENTS/TEACHERS/ROSALIE: Here at Horace Green, we march in lockstep--Make sure those movements are clean, sharp, crisp.Very military-like.
ZACH: Learn the moves for "Nothing can shape these ivied walls." You looked very unsure of yourself.
SHEINKOMPF: "Get back" When you're walking to the SR vom, Remember you are entering a lion's cage. You should be slightly afraid.
STUDENTS/DEWEY: First classroom scene was great. Good listening & reacting.
NED/DEWEY Great energy for Children of Rock. You two were really doing a great job playing off each other.
SOUND: Queen of the Night must start immediately as lights come up on Dewey.
DEWEY: Don't mime the door going into the music room...just exit.
STUDENTS: In the music room (on the catwalk) I can't see Lawrence from the left side of the house. Everyone needs to move over slightly to their left on the catwalk.
ROSALIE: Make your dancing/singing even bigger after Summer exits and before you get caught by Sheinkopf.
PROPS/DEWEY: Bring sheet music into the classroom for You're in the Band. Dewey, you can have it folded in your pocket. Preset at start of show.
BILLY: "What about the rest of us?" Come in faster with that line.
STUDENTS/DEWEY: Great energy for You're In the Band. You look like you're having fun!!!
STUDENTS: Repeat note from last night: Ease up on your activity during the Lawrence/Dewey scene. Keep your actions smaller--you're all stealing focus from the scene that is happening on the floor between Lawrence & Dewey.
DEWEY: Go, study, learn. When you say that line, proclaim it as if you're preaching from the mountain top. Really take authority here.
DEWEY: Enter the Faculty Lounge AFTER the Faculty Quadrille.
SHEINKOPF: More inflection when you ask the question, "Isn't that a song?" Really ask the question. Let your voice go up and not be so flat.
KATIE/JAMES: Don't run over to Zack when he is doing his guitar solo. Stay SL. Only run over to SR on Lawrence's solo.
STUDENTS: Do not sit profile on the boxes. Angle yourselves out toward the audience. You should always be at a 45 degree angle from the wall both on SL and SR. If the boxes are angled, you should sit on that angle too--not in profile. This is really important as it effects sight lines from the audience.
STUDENTS: Sustain the energy you had during Act I. Time to Play was very low energy.
ZACK: Learn the dance for Time to Play.
STUDENTS: Run Time to Play before the show tomorrow, or at least check in with each other about it. It seemed very tentative and sloppy.
DEWEY: Don't forget to take a drink and have water in your mouth to do an effective spit take.
DEWEY: Classroom scene w/Tomika dragged a bit tonight. You need to tighten that sequence up.
TECH: Please be sure the jukebox is spiked. It needs to be further SL; closer to center.
ROSALIE: "Nothing else matters" worked because you start getting into the music and you're getting tipsy and it doesn't matter if it's not with the recording. It worked really well tonight.
SHEINKOPF: If Rosalie is late in the hallway scene, arrange the cookies on the platter as if you're setting up for Parent's Night.
STUDENTS: Whoever brings the chairs for the parents on SL, they were completely off. They need to be on the angle. Do not put them profile--angle them along the angle of the boxes. If the scene starts and you notice they are in the wrong place, fix it. It's really bad for sightlines if this happens.
CAST: This show is (obviously) very technical. So if weird things happen sound-wise, light-wise, etc., don't let it throw you. Don't telegraph to the audience that something is wrong. Keep going! This is what happens in live-theatre. It won't be perfect every night. Or any night.
DEWEY: The monologue before Dewey's Confession must have a desperation to it. It's got to come faster. Don't lose your energy on this monologue. You need to show how you feel about each of the kids you talk about.
CAST: Small mistakes will occur, but please stay focused and listen. There were more mistakes in Act II tonight, than in Act I, so you need to pace yourselves. Sustain the energy all the way through the entire show!
CAST: For the final scene at the Battle of the Bands, spread out. You're only taking up space on 2 sides of the stage almost in lines. You can fill in more, or clump instead of lining up.
Keep up the great work and don't back down until the run of the show is over. Every performance needs to be full of fun and energy. Every audience deserves to see it as if you were doing it for the first time. You guys got this!
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
DEWEY: Opening w/No Vacancy, MUCH BETTER ENERGY!!
THEO: Great reactions to Dewey during opening number.
SOUND: Phone ring needs to come faster after "Children of Rock"
DEWEY: Be more triumphant at the end of "Children of Rock." Again, live in the fantasy that you will be a rock star.
KATIE: Make sure you are even with the other lines during Horace Green. We are missing 1 person from the back of the line, so you can move up and be on the same plane as the other line leaders.
SHEINKOPF: "You're welcome." Much sharper delivery as if you just did Rosalie a huge favor. Which you did.
DEWEY: "Whose got food?" Come right in with this line as soon as Rosalie leaves.
DEWEY: Take one bite of the granola bar and then spit it out. No need to linger over that moment.
LIZ: Talk less to Freddy during the first classroom. Focus more on action between Dewey & Summer.
SOUND: Queen of the Night should be playing as Dewey walks in.
CLAIRE: Please bring in a chair for Katie during the music room scene on the catwalk.. She needs to sit down to play the cello. Take it off when you leave.
SUMMER: Say the line, "Ms. Mullins, may I speak to you," from the catwalk. Then run down to meet her.
KIDS: Ease up on the activity during the Dewey/Lawrence scene. You're too distracting. The audience needs to focus on them.
DEWEY: Don't give Eric Clapton to CD to Lawrence--it goes to Zack. Review the order of who gets what CD.
MOSES: Take the Vogue magazine away from Billy as soon as you discover he's reading it.
LIGHTS: A weird, dark moment when Mooneyham is still talking and Zack hasn't started singing yet.
KATIE: At the end of If only you would Listen, don't break the line. Fit into the line downstage, don't stand slightly behind.
SOUND: Do we have enough mics for all Faculty during Faculty Quadrille?
DEWEY: Faster entrance into faculty lounge after the Quadrille.
FREDDY: Come in right away with the line, "Are we gonna goof off like this..."
KIDS: During Stick it to the Man, those of you on SL, don't cross over to Lawrence until he starts to play his solo.
JAMES: Use the whistle for "Mullins is on the move" You have to go to the door before you can say the line. Hold 3 counts after Stick it to the Man, then go up to the door.
DEWEY: Tighten up the lines when you gather the kids and say "go on my signal." It's very draggy.
SOUND: Jeff needs to be mic'd at the end of Act I.
DEWEY: Start singing "There's no way you can stop..." Don't wait for Caldwell. Let him follow you.
LAWRENCE: What happened to the black pants?
KIDS: Great covering of the instruments when Mullins comes in. Keep doing that.
LIGHTS: Lights need to come up faster when DEWEY sits at the table in the Roadhouse.
SOUND: Can Edge of 17 play a little more loudly at the beginning of the scene, than bring it back down. Can't really tell what the song is.
DEWEY: Focus on Rosalie when she sings Where did the Rock Go? You're falling in love. Don't space out.
BILLY: When you're holding the dress and you say "It's Fabulous." Shake the dress on the hanger a little. Be sassy. You're proud of your creation.
DEWEY/ZACK: Let the exchange between you be much faster. That was awesome. Zack; You really liked it?
DEWEY: Tighten up the monologue about all the kids when you're talking to the parents. It's still your dream to be able to do the Battle of the Bands and you love these kids. You really do.
MAGGIE: Don't notice the kids are gone; stay focused on Rosalie.
SOUND: Mason needs to be mic'd in her scene in Act II. w/Rosalie.
LIGHTS: The lights need to come up faster on the apartment. They should come up as Ned and Patty enter.
TOMIKA/LAWRENCE/FREDDY/SUMMER/KATIE/ZACK: Good reaction to Dewey's apartment. It can be bigger.
ENSEMBLE: Make sure everyone is in place on the catwalk and take your cue to bow from Grace and Paige.
Call time for tomorrow is 6pm. Come at 5 if you want to run things, preset your stuff. I highly recommend you come early!!!!!!
Monday, May 2, 2016
PLEASE review your lines, lyrics and blocking EVERY DAY now through the closing performance.
Get your heads wrapped around the fact that we have our first audience on Thursday night! Focus on the show and take pride in it. If you don't, why should the audience care?
First announcement for "No Vacancy" needs to be louder.
THEO: React more to Dewey every time he sings badly or pisses you off for trying to get more attention.
DEWEY: Try to get more attention during the opening number with No Vacancy. Dewey's energy needs to be off the charts especially when he's performing. He thinks he's a Rock God! Watch the guy in the green outfit in this AC/DC video. That's the energy you need. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmryc5BAsB4
DEWEY: Do a little jump at the very end of Too Hot for you after you say goodnight to Poughkeepsie.
PATTY: Why were you late for your first entrance?
DEWY: In the apartment, cover yourself completely with the blanket, as much as possible.
EMO GIRLS: You probably will not be mic'd. You need to SHOUT your lines over the song or we'll lose them.
ROSALIE: Face out to the audience when you're talking to Dewey on the phone.
DEWEY: Did you have a phone when you were talking to Rosalie?
STUDENTS/PARENTS: You must enter faster when you come in for Horace Green. There should be NO LAG TIME between students. Did you ever see middle school kids get dropped off? They come pouring in. Stagger it ever so slightly, but there should be a constant flow of students and parents coming in. FREDDY is the only one who runs in late. If you do it correctly, the song should start immediately following the scene with TOMIKA and her DADS. Be prepared, alert and ready for this entrance!
STUDENTS/TEACHERS: The lines in Horace Green were very sloppy. They need to be tight. The movements sharp. Like you're in the army. At Horace Green you are taught discipline. SHOW THIS by keeping your lines sharp and tight.
STUDENTS: Exit through SR Vom as quickly as possible after Horace Green.
SHEINKOPF: Make something of the line "Get back" when you're entering the classroom. You truly phoned it in. Act as though you are entering a cage of wild animals.
PROPS: Please make a new "Welcome Parents" sign and be sure it is only used in ACT II.
PROPS/SUMMER: We need white board markers either taped on the top of the white board or in Summer's box. DEWEY also needs a marker for the first scene in the classroom.
SUMMER: Pick up your cues. Come in faster with your line after "Who's got food?"
DEWEY: I was drunk...(take a beat) yesterday.
SUMMER: Tighten up your cues.
STUDENTS: ENERGY!!! Remember the age you are playing. The wonder, the curiosity of a middle school kid.
PROPS: We need a gold star chart taped to the white board for every performance of the run. DEWEY shreds it every night.
CAST: If something is on the floor that shouldn't be there--PICK IT UP!! DON'T IGNORE IT. The audience will only focus on that and not watch the show.
NED: Make your entrance faster when you come in to see Patty stretching.
DEWEY: Learn your lyrics for CHILDREN OF ROCK.
PROPS: We need a cello for Miette.
STUDENTS: Transition into classroom after music class was painfully slow. MOVE!! Anticipate the transition and get your props and boxes ready! ENERGY, ENERGY, ENERGY!!!!
PROPS: We need sheet music set up on the keyboard.
STUDENTS: Have spacial awareness when you're in the classroom or anytime you're onstage. Are you standing in a straight line? DON'T! Do you need to move over if you're blocking someone? YES! Are you all clumped up in a corner? FIX IT! Be aware of one another and work with one another!
DEWEY: Bring the bag of CD's in with you when you enter the classroom for You're in the Band.
LAWRENCE/DEWEY: Pick up the pace of your scene. It was ridiculously slow. I felt like I was watching a serious drama play out instead of a musical comedy. It's all about keeping the energy UP!
MASON: Come in faster with your Battle of the Bands line.
STUDENTS/DEWEY: You put me to sleep watching You're in the Band. ENERGY!!! STUDENTS, you have never had a teacher like this before. You have never seen an adult act this way before. Start building the excitement so by the time the number ends you're exploding with joy and energy about being in a band!!!
BILLY: Have more confidence wihen you sing If Only You Would Listen solo. Even when you are mic'd it's hard to hear you.
STUDENTS: In If Only You Would Listen, the turn on "and I promise one day..." has to be SHARP!!! You're all too slow!! WAKE UP!!!!
STUDENTS: After If only you would listen, hold 3 counts for applause, then MOVE immediately into classroom scene.
STUDENTS: Can you show more enthusiasm when Dewey asks if you want to hear his song? Don't just answer, "Yeah," be excited, ad-lib, show ENTHUSIASM!!!!!
DEWEY: In the End of Time was all over the place. Focus! You're acting out your most favorite rock and roll fantasy.
SOUND: Faculty Quadrille--I think all teachers need to be mic'd if that's possible.
TEACHERS: Acknowledge ROSALIE when she walks into the faculty room.
FREDDY: Come in faster with your line about goofing off all the time.
DEWEY: Band practice--need more of a rock 'n roll flair. Play air guitar with Zack. Again, you are living out your rock 'n roll fantasy.
DEWEY: ENERGY. When you slow down, the whole show slows down. You have to move the scene along. "Rock is not about being perfect," etc., etc., etc.
DEWEY: Punch the word "shit" so it stands out in Stick it to the man. It's time to throw some SHIT against the fan...
JAMES: "Mullins on the move. Hold the final position from Stick It to the Man for 3 counts then move to the door and say the line LOUDLY. You can blow your whistle here too.
DEWEY: "On my signal" that entire sequence needs much more energy.
OLIVIA B. Go onstage as the teacher as DEWEY does the birdcall.
STUDENTS: During the escape you were simply going through the motions. No one was engaged in what they were doing. You are ESCAPING FROM SCHOOL!!!! Where's the excitement?????
STUDENTS/DEWEY: Stick it to the Man Reprise was a train wreck. No one seemed to remember any of the steps. It is the end of the Act and needs to end on a very high note. We've talked about this before. Please find the time to get together as a group and review the reprise!!!
PROPS: Pens for White Board.
SUMMER: Make sure you have a white board pen for the top of ACT II.
BILLY: Learn the dance for Time to Play!
SUMMER: Get your clipboard when you're up on the box for Time to Play.
BILLY: PRESENT LAWRENCE and his costume to the class. When they say "Hell No," help Lawrence take it off and stash it in your box. Remember to retrieve it each night for the next performance. This is your responsibility--this is your prop!
SUMMER: Jump off the box earlier. Literally push people to do things as you snap at them.
DEWEY: Try going behind the couch for the spit take in the faculty room. I'm losing the joke because I can't see you.
TOMIKA: After you say, I just wish..." run back behind Billy because you are so PAINFULLY SHY!!
DEWEY: Tighten up the cue "Ok, if you sing something, maybe I can make you a singer." We see you getting frustrated with Tomika, but then you feel bad because she's so painfully shy!
TOMIKA/STUDENTS: Anticpate that there will probably be applause after Amazing Grace.
SOUND/DEWEY: Is the guitar plugged in for Math is a Wonderful Thing?
SOUND: Bell rings after that's a magic number.
TECH CREW: Jukebox needs to be further SR. Is there a spike for it?
TECH: Are we putting liquid in the beer glasses?
NED: Forget the gloves. I've never seen you use them. When you hyperventilate it needs to be really big and wheezy.
PATTY: Where is the letter from Horace Green?
CAST: If you were missing any props today, be sure to check in with Jade. You are responsible for every prop you handle, before, during and after the show. If you misplace it, you won't have it for the following performance, that's on YOU!
DEWEY/NED: The scene about the check was SO SLOW!! I didn't even know what play you were doing. It seemed like such a heavy drama. Yes, this is a serious scene, but it drags the energy down. PICK UP YOUR CUES!!
ROSALIE/SHEINKOPF: Something really weird and awkward happened here with the blocking when Sheinkopf exited. You bumped into each other or something. SHEINKOPF when you exit-- walk straight US. ROSALIE & DEWEY should be standing next to each other. It should be from SR to SL: Dewey, Rosalie, Sheinkopf.
BILLY: Hold the dress out so the audience can see it. Again, present it. You're proud of what you created.
STUDENTS: As soon as Zack starts to play, focus on him.
ZACK: Use a piece of paper for the lyrics.
DEWEY: Look at the paper Zack hands you then put it in your pocket. Don't put it on the ground.
STUDENTS/DEWEY: Teacher's Pet put me to sleep. DEWEY you must drive this scene forward.
PARENTS: STORM THE CLASSROOM WHEN YOU ENTER!!!!!! MOVE in on Dewey. You are furious at what you see!! Don't just stroll in like you're going to a party.
ROSALIE: Tighten up the moment when you realize the kids are missing.
SHEINKOPF: Too slow on your entrance. Come in as the parents are running out.
SOUND: Mason needs a mic in the last classroom scene.
DEWEY: Lie on your stomach when you're in the apartment. The appearance of the kids should surprise you.
TOMIKA: You need to move around the chair where Dewey is sitting and FREDDY, SUMMER, LAWRENCE AND KATIE circle around the chair so you are surrounding DEWEY. TOMIKA start moving on "Look Around see what you've done.
PATTY/NED: React to all the kids running out of your apartment as you run in.
JEFF: Stand center stage when you introduce No Vacancy. Then move over to SR.
JEFF: React when DEWEY and the STUDENTS arrive. Shush them with a gesture.
LEXA: I do not want to see you handing off the bass to KATIE.
STUDENTS: Exit faster into the vom. ALL VOM exits are TOO SLOW!!!
TOMIKA: Sing your solo to the audience. Don't sing it to Dewey.
JEFF: Come out as soon as the song ends.
PARENTS: School of Rock chant needs to start earlier. Elizabeth and Bryce will start the chant. Start it as soon as all of No Vacancy come back onstage.
HENRY: The curtain call intros have to MOVE!!! High energy as you introduce everyone.
CAST: DO NOT CLAP FOR YOURSELVES DURING THE CURTAIN CALL.
TAKE 1 COMPANY BOW AND THEN EXIT USING THE UPSTAGE EXITS. DO NOT USE THE VOMS TO EXIT FOR CURTAIN CALL.
Friday, April 29, 2016
Hi there folks!
Great job through Tech! We've tackled so much, and are working forward everyday!
Please take care of the following things for me in anticipation of performing next week:
-Submit a Bio (see the earlier blog post for info)
-Make sure your Production Fees are paid up
-We are asking technicians to kick in $10 for show/crew shirts...this should go to the WHS Bookkeeper ASAP
-Bring in any missing Costumes/Props that you've promised...they're essential
-Focus on the job at hand, whether it be onstage/backstage/academic
-Maintain a helpful, grateful, kind demeanor...it's a tough week
-Sell your show!
You're doing a bang up job...keep it going!