That's us below. Onstage. Singing and dancing. Incredible. We did a full run on the set (so beautifully constructed by JR & Cari with help painting from camper moms Karen & Pam), and it was spectacular.
We would love to start receiving bios from all of the cast for inclusion in the playbill! For those of you who may not be familiar, a “bio” is a brief, laudatory paragraph about yourself. It should include any past performance history, and list any accomplishments you’d want the audience to read about and be impressed by. They should be no more than 50 words, and can be hand-delivered or emailed to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I don't know if at my ripe old age I'd be able to absorb, retain and regurgitate all the music and movement these youngsters have in the short amount of time they've been given. Seriously. It is astounding the breadth of material they have learned in a matter of weeks. I hope these campers are proud of themselves, because we sure are.
Today was a unique challenge in that we had to sync up lines of dialogue between or in the midst of songs with musical underscores that cannot change because it is prerecorded. I have to admit that it is a strange experience trying to find balance with a music-playing machine versus a live, warm-blooded orchestra. To aid in this process, you can stream the entire orchestration we'll be using in performance by clicking here and entering the token apykfryf
...blowing by in the air, wondering how and why. -Here On Who
Boom. Seuss just got existential. I think we're (or maybe it's just me) at the point in the process where it's easy to lose sight of why we got into this whole theatre-thing in the first place. When the day is nothing but going over the same song or the same dance again and again and again until aches your bones and infects your brain, the point of it all starts to fade further and further away. So let's take a moment to remember why it is we're here: because we love it; because nothing else stirs us from within like the lights of the stage. It can be/is/will be hard, but it is worth it. Come opening night, every single person in this camp will know that it was all worth it, even if we don't recognize it now.
Remarkable. I sent out a single email this morning about our need for a bean bag, and by lunch I had close to a dozen different responses telling us where we can find them and offers to loan them to us! It is an amazing feeling to know that you are all there, and that you care. Thank you.
Today we ran & polished Act One. Tomorrow we focus our efforts on Act Two. Saturday we watch cartoons. Sunday is a mixed bag. And Monday is Garfield's least favorite day. In other news...
1. We will again be offering friends & family the chance to send a "shout out" (those are still a thing,
right?) to their favorite camper in the playbill for Seussical. The personalized messages are $20 and must be 25 words or less. They can be submitted by mail (attn: Brian McNally) or in-person by Monday, August 4th. Cash or check only. Checks should be made out to TrueNorth Cultural Arts.
2. All campers need a base costume! From our costumer: "All children need black pants and a brightly colored shirt. The shirt can be primary colors or jewel tones - just make sure it is a saturated color with NO logo (please no brown, black, grey, tan or white). Also, black shoes (flats or jazz)." Any
questions can be directed to Brian. Please bring these in on Wednesday, July 30.
3. We are having a great time. We love these kids. Thank you.
In an effort to help us cultivate our most charismatic inner show-man & show-woman, we held an air guitar competition this morning. There were many knee slides, playing behind the back's, and even some splits. In the end, it was Special K ruled the victor (by a panel of completely arbitrary judges) to the tune of Foxy Lady by Jimi Hendrix - but we're all winners in rock & roll. Sadly, this blogger was too absorbed in picking out music selections for the contest to take the opportunity to grab pictures. Enjoy the entirely unrelated ones below, though! We also danced like fishes (It's Possible) and sang about an elephant sitting on an egg (Horton Sits on the Egg), so all in all it was a pretty productive today, not to mention the beast known as Act One has been slayed! We will do it again tomorrow with feeling!
So lucky. We all are. It's difficult to see past our present difficulties, less-than-favorable circumstances & unfortunate occurrences, but the oft repeated refrain "things could be worse" is as true as it is non-comforting. While undertaking a full-scale musical in five weeks with forty-plus people is going to invite its fair share of problems, we can't lose sight of how lucky we are to be together. When bad things happen, we can point our fingers and decry our situation, or we can push onward celebrating and utilizing who and what we have around us; that's what we'll do. Okay, enough of my philosophizing - here's some fun pictures!
...anything's possible." One of the shortest and most platitudinous statements in the show is actually the sort of optimistic rallying cry that raises our spirits when we think about how much work is to be done and how little time there is in which to do it! But we soldier on. Speaking of which, today we were introduced to the song The Military (we also learned the cadet dance, inspired a smidgen by Monty Python's 'The Ministry of Silly Walks'). Here are the lovely boys & girls singing along....
We also dove into (pun intended) the fish-dance sequence of It's Possible (yes, there's a fish-dance sequence). Look at those jazzy fins!
And don't forget about auditions for The Giver tomorrow, Wednesday & Thursday from 6:30pm-9pm! Check out our FB page for more info!
One of the campers at the end of the day asked, "What does the ensemble do?" Before I had the opportunity to truly take in the question and articulate a response, the rest of the campers - even those cast as principle characters - cried out, "EVERYTHING!" Yes, the ensemble is the lifeblood of this show. Much like there would be no Seussical without Horton, Gertrude, Schmitz, et al, there would be no show without The Whos, The Cadets, The Jungle Citizens, The Fish, and so on. If there is one teeny nugget of wisdom I want every camper to walk away with, it is that they are as vital to our endeavor as each and every other person a part of this team. I am blown away by how well these kids take care of one another. Putting together any work of art involving more than one person is about so much more than the technique, talent & mechanics - it's about finding how to complement, learn from and polish each other in a way that only the creative process can. Who are we? We are one, and we are thankful for the weekend. See you all on Monday.
What do these things have in common? Nothing, except they all play integral roles in how we warmup our bodies and brains for hours of vocal and movement work. Yep, theatre is a pretty great profession.
Anywho, after staging the first three musical numbers yesterday, today we pressed onward and upward with Here On Who, the longest song of the show. With allusions to The Lorax, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and Horton Hears a Who, this little ditty will certainly be a challenge, but we shall overcome.
As a reminder, TrueNorth opens A Date with Judy tomorrow evening; it's a musical revue of early Judy Garland staged as a fictional radio performance in 1944. I got the chance to peek in on a tech rehearsal, and Joan Ellison as Judy Garland is captivating. All Center Stage campers can receive a complimentary ticket to any of this weekend's performances (accompanying friends or family must purchase a ticket).
I think it's safe to say we are in the full swing of things. We spent the better part of the morning finishing the rest of the choreography for Oh The Thinks You Can Think , and the afternoon on Horton Hears a Who/Biggest Blame Fool music. Truly, this musical is more like an operetta - there are very few scenes with any appreciable amount of dialogue, and the story is predominantly presented through song & movement. And what does all that mean? It means these campers are going to be exhausted, but in a good way. At any rate, check out photo below from our dance routine, and compare it to the final frame of the 1985 classic The Breakfast Club. Yes, and yes.
Don't forget we'll be offering the campers Master Classes Tuesdays through Thursdays immediately following camp! This week they can attend Creative Movement with Grace, Stage Combat with Alex or Singing Tricks of the Trade with Camille!