April 2010 Archives
Last night I went to see the play EASTERN STANDARD by Richard Greenberg at the Seattle Center House Theatre Black Box space. In case you didn't know, Richard Greenberg won a Tony for his play TAKE ME OUT. EASTERN STANDARD is a member project of The Sandbox Artists Collective, a part of the Lab at Freehold. Directed by Kathryn Van Meter, EASTERN STANDARD stars Nick Garrison, CT Doescher, Ashley FitzSimmons, Gretchen Krich, Alexandra Tavares and Jadd Davis.
A new musical in six months... What were we thinking?
As we head into the final week of rehearsal I'm taking a moment to catch my breath and reflect back on the craziness that has been the last six months.
This is my second year as writing mentor/lyricist for VIllage Theatre's Kidstage Company Originals program. Last year we wrote SAVE AS... and did a full production at the soon-to-be-renovated First Stage. This year we are focusing on doing readings, partly because of space issues, but also because when you are writing a new musical, quite frankly, it makes a lot more sense to do readings first!
I started with the writing team, which consisted of four teens, in October 2009. We worked on the principles of dramatic writing, and developed the themes,
storyline and characters before the actors auditioned in December. Then our cast of fourteen actors joined the process in January and we held our first reading of Act I in February, our second reading in March of the whole show (the first time it had been read all the way through!) and on Monday April 12 we'll be doing our third and final reading of the whole show. We've been getting feedback from the audiences along the way, which has been very instructive.
Kathryn Van Meter is directing, and Orlando Morales is the musical director/composer and Helen Voelker is the stage manager. Luckily for me, they've been with the process since the beginning, so the addition of the actors and the evolution of the piece has been seamless. We also got some wonderful help from Eric Jensen who stepped in to direct for a couple of weeks in March while Kathryn was busy. I have to say, working with those guys has been a blast!
THE LAST SHOT explores how the healing power of art can help people overcome fears and find strength and peace, while telling the story of a high school senior/aspiring filmmaker who takes a cast of fellow students to shoot a movie over Memorial Day weekend. When the filmmaker's best friend screws-up, the group has to relocate to an old, abandoned, and possibly haunted hotel. The students are forced to confront their worst fears about the future, while still trying to complete the film.
THE LAST SHOT is a full length musical with brand new storyline, intriguing characters and 15 new songs plus reprises! The readings have been very helpful in cutting the show down to a respectable two and a half hours of tasty musical goodness. It is playing one night only at the Village Theatre mainstage, so get your $10 tickets now before they sell out and help us make musical theatre history!