Monday, June 21, 2010

Theatre sandbox

Today is the audition for my second Summer Scene production. Of all the shows I've ever been connected with, Once on this Island is probably the one with which I have the most exposure. So naturally, that's the show I chose to do in my second year (the first was Seussical, which I can get passionate about in no time). But I'm going to encounter a similar challenge: enrollment. I had to make Seussical work last year with only 12 kids, and I've got to make Island work with only 14.

The great benefit of the program is that it can be very sandbox-like: it's a summer camp, these kids aren't doing it because they're going to be going on to Walnut Hill or Tisch, they're doing it because it's fun and they like the idea of getting up and putting on a show. So their enthusiasm (without the inherent competition and diva-like symptoms) gives me the flexibility to try some new things. Last year, I had a concept for how the entire show was going to emerge from a television. And it did. This year, I want to take Island and "Nutcrackerize" it. And I will.

That's why I love this program: it's laid-back enough that I can still make "let's just have fun" our primary motto, but the kids take it seriously enough that I can try some ideas I have.