Every odd numbered year, the American Association of Community Theatres hosts AACTFest, a nationwide theatre festival showcasing the best of community theatre around the country. It is a culmination of months of smaller festivals, starting in the individual states, then moving on to surrounding regions, with the Regional winners being invited to a host city to perform their 60 minute show in front of appreciative audiences of like minded theatre aficionados.Read More
We have ALL been there. There are many times that we’ve been on stage and suddenly forgotten our lines, cracked while belting out a song, tripped and fell, forgotten a prop, missed your cue, I could go on and on. I will tell you that ALL of these things have happened to me.Read More
One of the more popular topics among community theatre discussions is the act of pre-casting roles. While it's "shunned" in many circles, there are plenty of other theatres that regularly practice it in order to get the exact talent they want. Many call it unethical, while other might call it necessary based on the show.Read More
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
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 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
Are accents important and integral to productions? I say yes.
I recently attended a production of “Titanic” where the vocals were good, the acting good, but the accents required were barely there (if at all) and when they were present, most executed it poorly. In a show like "Titanic", accents are non-negotiable.Read More
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
Imagine that Hairspray is being produced in a local theatre near you. And after the auditions were completed, you notice that the show has an all-white cast. How would you react? Would you be angered? Insulted? Confused?Read More
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