When a Show Starts to Really Work After Performances Begin

When a Show Starts to Really Work After Performances Begin

So we’re backstage at the conclusion of performance #10 in a 12-show run of Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, produced by Big Dawg Productions at the Cape Fear Playhouse down here in Wilmington, NC. We’re in the single, narrow dressing room that accommodates all five of us and our two-person backstage crew, changing back into street clothes.

J. Robert Raines, who plays Doctor Watson, is in the midst of changing his shirt, with a broad smile on his face.

“That,” he says, “was just so much fun!!”

Amidst murmurs of agreement all around, acknowledging that it had taken us a while to reach a performance level that was “fun” for all of us, we stumble across one of the harsh realities of community theater; that by the time everybody literally gets their act together, the run is over.

Read More

5 Ways You Can Be a Better Director

5 Ways You Can Be a Better Director

Over the years, I have written many articles that offer advice to performers. Whether it's audition pieces, college choices or just ways to be more sought-after. And while it's certainly great to have a much advice out there for performers, I realize there are a lot of areas where directors, designers, and even theatre groups could improve as well. 

Read More

“My Mom is in the Audience Tonight”

“My Mom is in the Audience Tonight”

My mother recently came to see me in a production of Bye Bye Birdie.  I had the opportunity to play the role of Harry MacAfee, the perplexed father of Kim and a role originated by Paul Lynde.  I got to sing “Kids!” and “Hymn for a Sunday Evening” (“Ed Sullivan”) and be bombastic and utterly ridiculous.

I’ve been doing community theatre for about 7 years, but this was the first time my mother made the trek from out of state to see me.  I knew that there was a strong chance she would make the trip, given that Bye Bye Birdie is one of her favorite musicals.  My mother is in her 70’s and travel is sometimes difficult for her.

Read More

Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Cold Readings and Singing Should Be Encouraged More for Community Theatres

Last year I sat in on an audition for an upcoming community theatre production of Oklahoma. I was friends with the director and he wanted some feedback on how they run their auditions and organize their talent pools. 

As auditions began, something stood out to me. Depending on the role they were auditioning for, every man sang either "Kansas City" or "People Will Say We're in Love". Every woman who auditioned sang either "Out of My Dreams" or "The Farmer and the Cowman". There were even a couple of "I Can't Say No" and "Lonely Room" auditions thrown in as well. 

Read More

Why Your Friends Don't Show Up

Why Your Friends Don't Show Up

This is a piece inspired by another piece, written by our editor-in-chief, Chris Peterson. (Although, this is far from a response piece, and not quite the same issue).

I have a maxim borrowed from my best friend: “Friendship is a two-way street.” (This actually surfaced in a disagreement about how much I support(ed) my friends in the arts, and how much of it had been one-sided. “Friendship is a two-way street!” he told me. And he wasn’t wrong).

Read More

An Actor's Perspective - When the Show Ends...

An Actor's Perspective - When the Show Ends...

Post Show Depression, some laugh and say it’s not real, but those who have felt it know that it’s very real. The end of a show can hit different people in different ways. It can also vary from show to show, but let me back up for a moment. The final curtain has fallen, strike is complete and you have partied with your cast mates to celebrate the success of your show. You get home and suddenly realize, that’s it, there are no more lines to be said, no more rehearsals, no more performances, it is simply, over!

Read More

Theatre Saved My Life. It Can Save Others Too

Theatre Saved My Life. It Can Save Others Too

Depression: To me, it is one of the most destructive and misunderstood diseases on the planet. It is to the spirit what cancer is to the body. Slowly but surely, it eats away at who you are until there is nothing left of you but a miserable, empty shell of a person. The number of victims who lost their lives while fighting it off is countless. It is the worst possible thing that could be inflicted on a person’s psyche, and personally, I wouldn’t wish it on my own worst enemy.

Read More

Theatre: Why Do It At All?

Theatre: Why Do It At All?

Every time I audition for a show and deal with the pre-audition nerves, the waiting-to-hear-if-I-got-a-callback nerves, the waiting-for-the-cast-list nerves I (and others) ask “why?” Why put yourself through that agony. Why spend weeks rehearsing taking time away from family and friends, potentially missing out on other activities? Why? Here’s why.

Read More