Category Archives: talent

Volunteering at DreamWrights: It’s Contagious

Volunteering at DreamWrights is contagiously fun. Take Tony Fogle, for example. One night, he was bored so he agreed to lend a hand striking a show in which his aunt had been involved. Three and a half years and 26 shows later, Tony is a pillar of the DreamWrights family, as the “go-to” Lighting Designer. “I came to help with strike one night because I had nothing else to do. A bunch of people asked if I was trying out for next show but theatre really isn’t my thing. But sure, I’ll come help with something backstage,” Tony explained.

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Tony did return, thinking that he would be able to participate behind the scenes, where he would be more comfortable. “They threw me onstage as Little John in Robin Hood,” Tony winces. “That was a little overwhelming for me.” He describes it as tough but fun. Admittedly, he did enjoy it but he did not look forward to getting back on stage.

“The people here were awesome.” They kept him coming back. The next show was Gentleman from Indiana and Tony did props for that show. At that time, a talented college student was doing lights. Tony was impressed with him. It probably was due to Tony’s height (he’s 6 feet 6 inches tall) that he was asked to lend a hand. “I helped him out. As he was adjusting the lights, he started explaining to me what he was doing. Before he left, he gave me a quick run through of how the lighting system worked. Two shows later I was doing lights and I’ve done just about every one since.”

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Not originally educated for his technical career at a micro electronics company or in lighting, technical is where Tony’s interests lie. He says the best part of being the Lighting Designer is that it keeps him off stage. “If it weren’t lights, it would be props or set. I’m not a big social person.” He likes that everyone greets him on his way in but he quickly finds his place in the shadows, where he’s comfortable behind the control panel. He says he likes how all the jobs are connected. “I’m here doing my own thing but I’m part of the bigger picture. I like having my own little piece of the larger puzzle.”

When asked what his secret to making the actors on stage look so good, Tony responds, “Make sure you can see them all. If somebody is in the dark, it is glaringly obvious to me. If there is part of the set that the lighting isn’t nice on, I notice. When I’m doing it I try to hit everything and make it look nice.”  His best advice is to simply make sure everyone is lit.

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Tony considers Seussical to be his toughest show to light. “I stressed a lot about it but Seussical was my favorite because it was more of a challenge. It pushed me to learn things [about programming lights] that I didn’t know previously.” He anticipates The Wizard of Oz to be equally challenging. He says an option could be to go with “plain Jane” lights.  Tony explains, “Just like Suessical and some of the other shows I’ve been involved with, I feel lights can make a big difference in how the audience connects with the show. I have to make sure I compliment, and hopefully add to, the mood of the show.”

When Tony counted up the number of shows in which he’s been involved, he surprised himself. “This is show number 26 I’ve been involved with… which is ridiculous! But it is fun so I keep coming back. And they keep asking me to.”

 

Directors’ Advice: Proudest Moment

DreamWrighters recently turned to our resident and several recent guest directors to hear about what makes them most proud. As we get ready to launch a capital campaign, we notice that like the campaign, these wonderful directors are proud about Putting Growth Center Stage!

DreamWrighters: Thanks for taking a few moments to share your thoughts with our audience. As a director, as you reflect  on your directing experiences, what makes you most proud?

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Diane Crews in 1997 with Youth Theatre Director of the Year Award

DIANE: This one is easy … I love to watch people grow!  And growth is not exclusive in any way.  The magic of the theatre is love, according to William Saroyan, and I agree.  All the world is a stage and we are all players, but only in live theatre do we have the opportunity to work and create together, not to win anything or beat the other team, but to share that creation with others the audience. You come together as strangers and depart as family.  Everyone has the opportunity to grow his/her responsibility, self-confidence, interpersonal communication, knowledge, and emotional levels/skills. The results are huggable!!  And often make me cry – good tears – of pride and happiness at being allowed the chance to see the multiple metamorphoses!!

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Paige Hoke directing rain forrest critters

PAIGE: What makes me most proud is watching people grow and discover things about their characters and themselves. I love seeing the world of the show come to life fully! And I love seeing people from all walks of life come together and create a show!

RODD: I’ve worked solely with kids and teens. I am most proud of my casts and crews.  It have been a joy and privilege to watch them blossom during rehearsals and shows.  When I get a thank you note at the end of a show and the kids thank me for casting them in a role that they didn’t think they’d ever get, or they thank me for helping to grow their self-confidence.  Man! That is beyond any hassle that may come with putting together any production. That’s goes way beyond being proud, that touches me and encourages me. It builds me up and pushes me to want to be better for the next cast I direct.

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Michelle Denise Norton with cast and crew of The Tempest

MICHELLE: I am proud of the relationships people continue to have even when they’re no longer involved in Theatre Under The Trees or DreamWrights.  Last year, my brother Beau’s best friend (who he met during Comedy of Errors) was in town for his father’s funeral and when we were talking afterwards, he mentioned that he’d left his car in Los Angeles for another friend (he met during Much Ado About Nothing) to use.  Earlier this year, two people who had played villains in one production were swapping stories about both Much Ado and their respective children on Twitter.  It really brought home to me that one of the most important things about DreamWrights is the connections you make and the conversations you have.

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Kirk Whisler inspiring his cast and crew with a purple hair challenge

KIRK: I find pride in the end of rehearsals each day, seeing the work that was accomplished, and knowing that the cast and crew are making me look good.

About the Directors

Diane Crews: Artistic Director and Playwright-in-Residence at DreamWrights. Diane is currently directing Young King Arthur. Having directed well over one hundred shows at DreamWrights, Young King Arthur will be her last production as she is set to retire in the Fall of 2016.

Paige Hoke: Paige Hoke is 2010 graduate of Arcadia University’s BFA in Acting Program. She has experience directing, teaching, and acting in the York and Philadelphia areas. She most recently directed Seussical at DreamWrights.

Michelle Denise Norton: Founder and Director of DreamWrights’ Theatre Under The Trees program.  Along with all of her theatrical endeavors, Michelle is also a writer, artist and cartoonist.  In Summer 2016, Theatre Under The Trees will be bringing As You Like It to local parks

Rodd Robertson: Director and actor, Rodd most recently appeared in the Flippin’ Broadway musical revue at DreamWrights.  He has directed a handful of productions including To See the Stars and Nancy Drew: Girl Detective at DreamWrights and elsewhere.

Kirk Wisler: Kirk made his directorial debut at DreamWrights this past summer, directing The Mouse that Roared. He has taken part in over thirty plays from 2001 until the present day. He hopes to continue directing and acting at DreamWrights for many more years to come.

Flippin’ Fun

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Rodd Robertson and Bea Gilbert with John Masa

On March 5, DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre is flipping things around in the name of fun and fundraising. We are hosting a special event called Flippin’ Broadway which is a cabaret of Broadway show tunes with a fun twist.  Rodd Robertson, DreamWrights actor and Guest Director, came up with the idea. Robertson explains, “A few years ago, another actor and I were discussing songs we would never get to sing in a traditional Broadway show.  We were having a great time imagining what it would be like to perform songs as those characters and suddenly we looked at each other and asked why we couldn’t stage a show where we could perform those songs?!” And the idea for Flippin’ Broadway was born.

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Rebecca Wolf with Michael Frock

Although, Flippin’ Broadway wasn’t originally conceived as a benefit show, it soon took on that life.  Robertson says the idea grew as they talked to friends and other cast mates about the idea.  Robertson reports, “We’re thrilled to be doing this for DreamWrights because we admire their mission statement and that they abide by it.  It’s a real testament to the theatre that we wanted to have our premiere there.  We’re doing good for a great place!”

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Patty Price with Michael Frock

With 18 cast members performing 27 songs, the evening promises to be full of entertainment and surprises. Robertson agrees, “If the scores of people who auditioned for it and the word of mouth buzz is any indication, we should have a really nice crowd; hopefully a sell-out.”  Robertson quickly adds two more reasons to attend the event: “to support this community theatre treasure and to imagine what different Broadway musicals might be like if they were ‘flipped’!”

He’s not kidding when he describes it as “flipped”! The concept of Flippin’ Broadway is for Broadway songs to be performed in a non-traditional way.  For example, “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserable is sung by a middle-to-older-aged white man, Jean Val Jean, but not in the Flippin’ Broadway version.  Robertson dishes, “In our version, a young teenage girl is singing the song.  So we’ve switched it up with some funny results and some thought provoking changes.”

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Hannah Kuhn and Caitie Kieffer with Missy Kiefer

But that’s not the only act that will stand out. The evening will feature talented adults as well as kids.  Robertson boasts, “We have a mother with her two teenagers in the show.  I think this exemplifies the opportunities that DreamWrights provides families in the mid-state region.  How great is it that so much talent lies in one family!  Just wait until you hear them! You won’t be disappointed!”

Flippin’ Broadway will be held at DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre on March 5,, 2016 from 7 – 10pm. Tickets are $15 and are available online at www.dreamwrights.org or by calling 717-848-8623. There will be an extended intermission offering elegant desserts for purchase. Proceeds will benefit DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre.

Directors’ Advice: Audition Etiquette

With auditions for The Secret Garden just around the corner, DreamWrighters turned to our resident director as well as a few of our recent guest directors for some advice. Here is the second installment of wisdom and guidance on the topic of Audition Etiquette.

DreamWrighters: Thanks for taking a few moments to share your advice and experiences with our audience. Hopefully this advice will benefit new actors, experienced actors, as well as directors. As a director, Can you give us a few pointers on audition etiquette? What to do? What not to do?

Auditions

Paige Hoke: For me, the biggest “do’s” are being as nice, outgoing, confident, and prepared as possible. Act this way from the moment you enter the door to the moment you leave because directors and audition helpers do talk to each other and directors tend to be super observant. <wink>  Most directors look not only for talent, but for people they want to work with!

Also, make sure you say thank you after your audition! Always try to read the play or musical, or at least a synopsis, beforehand. This helps a lot if you are not given materials to use ahead of time. But if you are given materials beforehand, practice them a lot and be comfortable with them!

As far as don’ts…. don’t hide any conflicts you have, and don’t apologize or make excuses if you do mess up! Just keep going and recover from the mistake. :)

Rodd Robertson

Rodd Robertson: Have fun with it.  If you are nervous it will translate to the audition panel.  Someone who is having fun, is relaxed and handles any audition situation with poise will be remembered as someone with whom directors will want to work. Roll with the process.

Diane Crews: Dress comfortably and appropriately.  You need to be able to move freely.  No high heels, tight/short skirts/pants, not a lot of skin, and please don’t dress like the character you want to play.  The latter will usually be a negative for a director.  Casting is the director’s job! Be yourself … have energy … project … if asked to read different characters, make sure there is a difference.

Kirk Wisler: Be professional, listen to the panel, have your phone off, not doing this could really hurt you. Don’t give the audition panel any reason not to cast you. Have good eye contact with people in scene.

Michelle Denise Norton: Listen.  Be nice to other people.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand.  Be yourself, which may seem counterintuitive but actually works.

About the Directors

Diane Crews: Artistic Director and Playwright-in-Residence at DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre. Diane is currently directing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Having directed well over one hundred shows at DreamWrights, Pageant will be her last holiday production as she is set to retire in the Fall of 2016.

Paige Hoke: Paige Hoke is 2010 graduate of Arcadia University’s BFA in Acting Program. She has experience directing, teaching, and acting in the York and Philadelphia areas. She most recently directed Seussical at DreamWrights.

Michelle Denise Norton: Founder and Director of DreamWrights’ Theatre Under The Trees program.  Along with all of her theatrical endeavors, Michelle is also a writer, artist and cartoonist.  In Summer 2016, Theatre Under The Trees will be bringing As You Like It to local parks

Rodd Robertson: Director and actor, Rodd lists “Leo” from Leading Ladies and “Prof. Koknitz” from The Mouse That Roared as two favorite of his favorite roles.  He has directed a handful of productions including To See the Stars and Nancy Drew: Girl Detective at DreamWrights and elsewhere.

Kirk Wisler: Kirk made his directorial debut at DreamWrights this past summer, directing The Mouse that Roared. He has taken part in over thirty plays from 2001 until the present day. He hopes to continue directing and acting at DreamWrights for many more years to come.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

This holiday, DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre will present The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, a classic Christmas comedy written by Barbara Robinson.  It’s a story about hardship, discovery, and making a difference in the lives of others, which in turn makes a difference in our own.

DreamWrights' 'Best Christmas Pageant Ever"

As six delinquent siblings with the promise of donuts, find their way to church at Christmastime shenanigans, misbehavior, mishaps ensue. Through the comedy of it all; however, is the reality that we all know kids like the Herdmans – naughty, misguided, but good at heart. We’ve crossed paths with them in our lives. Artistic Director, Diane Crews, was attracted to direct this production for this very reason. “Just like the church ladies in the play point out, ‘Real is what they were.’ We all know these characters.”

Speaking of characters and families, this production is family friendly to audiences, cast, and crew alike. Of the 80 cast and 65 staff and crew members, 30 of our families involved have multiple family members participating. Four families have four and ten families have three members involved. Of course, these individuals make up a myriad of cast and crew combinations ranging from a father Food Coordinator and daughter actress, to a father Production Stage Manager and son actor, brother and sister on set crew, a mother actress and son sound designer, and so on. Seventeen year old Kalie Stroup says she’s excited to participate in this show with her dad “because this was the first show we did together six years ago!”

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The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has previously played at DreamWrights in 1999, 2003, and 2009. Not only will this be Diane Crews’ fourth time directing this show, it will also be the fourth time acting in it for several cast members as well. Four timer Joan Bitzer says that she’s enjoyed playing the different “church ladies” and this time she’s having fun being the bossy one. “I love this show. It has moments that offer the audience, as well as the cast and crew, a good, warm Christmas feeling,” explains Joan. “Plus, it’s funny! It’s got everything a Christmas show should have.”

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Diane agrees that this show is special. “Each performance is as unique as the actors in it, and each actor is unique in his or her own way.”  Diane also reminds us that this production is extra meaningful to her because it is her last holiday production at DreamWrights as she will be retiring in 2016. She recalls directing her granddaughter in the 2009 production,” She was one of the smallest baby angels and now she is the tallest non-baby angel!”

Even if you’ve seen Pageant before, you won’t be disappointed to see it again. Those Herdman kids are an awful lot of fun, and the story is as touching as it is funny.  Even Diane never tires of it, “I always laugh and cry, and I have seen it hundreds of times, if you count all the rehearsals. It is what the season is all about!”

DreamWrights' 'Best Christmas Pageant Ever"

DreamWrights’ The Best Christmas Pageant Ever opens December 4 at 6:30 pm and runs for 12 shows: December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19 – 6:30 pm and December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20 – 2:30 pm. Tickets may be purchased online at www.dreamwrights.org or by calling 717-848-8623. Seats cost $10 for general, $14 for reserved.

Directors’ Advice: Character Development

DreamWrighters recently caught up with our resident artistic director as well as a few recent guest directors for some advice. Here is the first installment of wisdom and guidance from these esteemed directors. Today’s question is on the topic of Character Development.

DreamWrighters: Thanks for taking a few moments to share your advice and experiences with our audience. Hopefully this advice will benefit new actors, experienced actors, as well as directors. As a director, how do you inspire and motivate an actor to embody his/her character?

Diane as a duck

Diane Crews: It is the actor’s job to find out as much as they can about their character.  The script offers a good deal of information via what you say, what other say about you, and to you. I often supply a character questionnaire, which encourages the actors to delve deeper and create some back story for their character as well.  They need to know how the character is different and the same as they are, and what they want and how they think.  I find asking questions that allow the actor to ‘think’ is the best and most helpful tool.

Paige Hoke: Think about what your character wants in a scene and in the overall show. Does it change? How does your character try to achieve their wants? Do they achieve what they want? What do other characters say about your character? What do you say about yourself? Who are your character’s friends, enemies, family members? How does your character feel about the other people in the world of the play/musical? Observe people in real life. See how they move and interact with each other.

Michelle Directing

Michelle Denise Norton: First, I start with a good script — that’s the foundation of everything. Then I tell actors: learn your lines.  Listen to the other characters on stage and what they are saying about your character.  Try to see the director’s overall vision and then find ways specific to your character that you can add depth to that vision.

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Rodd Robertson:  I ask the actors to think about whom their character is; how does he/she walk, talk, look? Then, I ask them to consider how they are portraying that character.  Is their portrayal a portrait of the actor’s mannerisms, speech patterns, or look?  If they’re just walking through a scene as themselves and aren’t trying to transform themselves into their character, I ask them to stop and change things.  If they can’t come up with anything, I’ll help them work it out.  I don’t want to see Johnny Depp up on that stage; I want to see Captain Jack.  And, I praise the heck out of them each step of the way during their transformation. Praise and encouragement is a powerful motivator.

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Kirk Wisler: Positive reinforcement. Build up your actors. For every negative give them two positives.  Keep open lines of communication.

 

 

About the Directors
Diane Crews: Artistic Director and Playwright-in-Residence at DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre. Diane is currently directing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Having directed well over one hundred shows at DreamWrights, Pageant will be her last holiday production as she plans to retire in the Fall of 2016.

Paige Hoke: Paige Hoke is 2010 graduate of Arcadia University’s BFA in Acting Program. She has experience directing, teaching, and acting in the York and Philadelphia areas. She most recently directed Seussical at DreamWrights.

Michelle Denise Norton: Founder and Director of DreamWrights’ Theatre Under The Trees program.  Along with all of her theatrical endeavors, Michelle is also a writer, artist and cartoonist.  In Summer 2016, Theatre Under The Trees will be bringing As You Like It to local parks

Rodd Robertson: Director and actor, Rodd lists “Leo” from Leading Ladies and “Prof. Koknitz” from The Mouse That Roared as two of his favorite roles.  He has directed a handful of productions including To See the Stars and Nancy Drew: Girl Detective at DreamWrights and elsewhere.

Kirk Wisler: Kirk made his directorial debut at DreamWrights this past summer directing The Mouse that Roared. He has taken part in over thirty plays from 2001 until the present day. He hopes to continue directing and acting at DreamWrights for many more years to come.

If At First You Don’t Succeed: A Case Study

Hannah began taking camps and classes at DreamWrights at the age of 5. Theatre was in her blood, even at this young age. She could hardly wait until she was old enough to try out for a production. When she realized the first show she would be old enough to be in was Snow White, she was over the moon. It was one of her favorites and she knew she was destined to be in it. So, Hannah tried out and anxiously waited for “the call.” But when “the call” never came, the reality was devastating. She was not chosen to be in Snow White. Hannah was crushed.

Annie

But, young Hannah did something that is often hard even for adults to do. She pulled herself back up, set her sights on the next show, and tried out again. This time it was Annie and this time she made it. It was a great experience and Hannah confirmed her love for the theatre.

However, her story doesn’t end there. With one show under her belt, Hannah was ready for her next. It was another favorite, Beauty and the Beast. Again, the perfect moment. She was a shoe-in! But then she didn’t get in. And again, it was quite a blow for Hannah, especially since one of her best friends had made it. Maybe the next show, Sleepy Hollow? Didn’t work out. Or the next, Miracle on 34thStreet? Nope.

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During this time, Hannah’s mom continued to provide encouragement. She registered Hannah for production camps and theatre classes to keep her involved and doing what she loved while gaining experience. Although she surely had moments of doubt, young Hannah persevered and went for it again with Alice in Wonderland. She got in! In fact, then she had a good run of two more shows after Alice, Dr. Doolittle and The Hobbit.

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Through all of this, Hannah did what directors hope all unsuccessful auditionees will do. Remember what Guest Director Paige Hoke reminds us of in her recent blog? For the shows where Hannah wasn’t chosen, maybe she didn’t fit into the overall puzzle. But, she kept at it. She didn’t get resentful, she didn’t give up; she became determined and kept plugging along.

Certainly, Hannah’s experience  isn’t uncommon. The way she handled it, kept a positive attitude, and persevered could possibly be.  And what wonderful life lessons this young lady has already learned. Often, things don’t come easily to us in life.  Even before the age of 10, Hannah knew as well as anyone how to overcome, persevere, and believe in herself. The world is her oyster.

Three Steps to Character Development

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Last fall, I had the privilege of playing Thorin in the musical production of The Hobbit. I loved this part, however it was quite challenging for multiple reasons. Namely, I was playing someone of a whole different gender, who was also much more stern and tough than I am. At first, I struggled. I thought he should be very forceful and commanding. But, he ended up seeming very angry and rude. I was asked to change this but it was a challenge to do so.

As I thought about how to best embody this character, I realized I had to become the character.  As weird as it sounds, I had to let Thorin take over my brain. The advice I would give to someone else struggling in a similar situation is to think like the character at all times. What would he do? How would he react? Even when off-stage, it is important to think about the life of the character. What is his backstory? What is he doing when he is not involved in an event on stage? Ask yourself these questions, and hopefully you will become your character on stage.

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So, in the case of my becoming Thorin, I proceeded by figuring out other details of his personality. He often got frustrated with the “imbeciles” in the company. I concluded from that side of him that he was easily irritable and liked everything a certain way. And, I understood his annoyance with Bilbo, because he was no help to this. Thorin was also very ambitious and frustrated with the dragon who took his land. With this, I was able to form a relatable character who was stern but not angry.

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That’s another challenge with character development. Words like stern and angry are often confused. You have to be positive that you aren’t letting other feelings take over a general quality. For example, a character who is commanding should not necessarily be overly forceful. The two qualities don’t automatically go together. As an actor, you could add opposite traits such as a humorous or relaxed tone (if it suits the character) to balance out the character so he or she does his job, while still being relatable.

In conclusion, here are three simple steps to character development:

  1. Consider “Who is this person?”

Come up with who the person is. What do they think of what is going on in the scene? How would they react? Then, how can the next line you carry deliver that feeling?

  1. Carry it Out

Use the tone you have already developed when delivering lines. But take note! Some scenes may require different tones. If necessary, refer back to step one.

  1. Remain in Motion

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Even if you don’t have a line, your expressions will take you to the next level. Play along with other characters’ lines. Think of your own in your head (but don’t say them). If you create a character that acts like someone (human or not) relatable by having clear facial expressions, you will boost your performance up to its best, a goal every actor wants to achieve.

Sophie Nicholson
Student

I Got In, But It’s Not the Part I Wanted: Why You Should Embrace the Part You Got

Seussical has been cast, and the calls have been made. If you didn’t get in this time, please take a moment to read my previous blog, and make sure you keep auditioning!!

I'm perfect for the part

As I finished casting Seussical, I found myself reflecting on another topic I have struggled with in the past. What happens when you get into a show, but you don’t get the part you wanted? And more importantly, what are some reasons WHY that happens.

I’ve definitely been there. In high school, I was lucky enough to have our Director choose my favorite show of all time. In that show there was a part that I was DYING to play. It was my dream role. Well, the cast list went up, and I didn’t get that part. Even though I had gotten another role, I was quite upset.  I was crushed. I was in disbelief. I didn’t understand why this had happened when I knew I was so perfect for the role.

I didn't get the part I wanted but my sister did

But now that I am a Director, I know why. And, in fact, there is a very good reason. Casting a show is like fitting together a giant puzzle. All the pieces, with all their different facets, have to line up to make one beautiful work of art which we present to our audiences.

As actors, I think we are often limited by our own perceptions of ourselves. We think we know what roles are right for us, and we get really attached to them. We tend to call these our “dream roles.” And when a show comes around that has that “dream role,” we, of course, audition. We think the director would be crazy not to cast us in that role because we are just so perfect for it. But, when we get ourselves thinking like that, we are limiting ourselves to other possibilities. Maybe this Director thinks that we would be perfect in a different role, based on their vision and their perception of us actors and on their vision and perception of the show as a whole.

I love my part after all

You might argue that they are judging you unfairly, that they are the limited ones. But, I challenge you to think about this differently. What if the Director sees something in you that you don’t? Couldn’t it be fun to see what different people think you are capable of?! Maybe you never thought you could play a love interest, and that’s what they see you as being. And isn’t that fascinating and exciting? Let yourself be stretched in ways you didn’t think of.

But then there are times when the Director thinks you actually would be perfect to play your dream role; however, there may be two other people that can play it equally as well. And, what if those two others would not be as good in a different role as you would. Remember that puzzle metaphor? Sometimes our puzzle piece just doesn’t fit right for our dream roles in this particular puzzle. In another show, it could fit beautifully where you want it, but in this one, maybe it fits better somewhere else.

What a great experience

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “there are no small parts, only small actors.” It really is true. Playwrights don’t write characters into plays or musicals if they don’t need them there to tell their story. Every character is important. Every character works together to tell the story the playwright set out to tell. Where would Dorothy be without the Wizard? A small part, but critical to the entire story!

So instead of being sad or resentful that you didn’t get the role you so badly wanted or thought you would get, embrace the role you did get! Throw yourself into it, have fun, and discover something new about yourself! After all, you get to do a show! You get to help tell a story. You get to perform in live theatre. Without you, the story we tell, or the puzzle the audience sees, just wouldn’t be the same.

Paige Hoke
Guest Director

I Wasn’t Good Enough:The Truth About Why You Didn’t Get the Part

On the eve of SEUSSICAL auditions and what promises to be the biggest talent pool from which I’ve ever chosen, I find myself to be a bit anxious. Being that I have had experiences on both sides of the stage, I understand all too well the feelings an actor has when she isn’t chosen for a part or show she has her heart set on. I think about the feelings that may be hurt or the misconceptions that some actors will leave with. I know some will be thinking, “I wasn’t good enough.” But what I wish they all could know is that’s almost always not the reason they weren’t chosen.

Auditions

As a director, I have a vision for the characters. It’s not so much about the “look” for me. It’s more about my overall vision for the show as a whole, as well as my vision for the individual characters. Lots of people have the talent it takes to be in a show, and lots of actors have a similar level of talent.  It comes down to a person’s look, energy, feel and how one actor plays off another actor. Lead characters often will “pop out” in the way that they fit into my vision. But, the whole ensemble has to gel. You can be the most talented person but if you don’t mesh with the whole show and the director’s vision of the show, then you may not be chosen.

Specific to the double casted shows, actors and their “others” need to be close in size. They often share costumes, props, and of course, are taught the same blocking and need to physically fill similar spaces. Other attributes that factor into casting decisions include schedule conflicts, confidence, stage presence, attitude, enthusiasm, and workability. Are you someone who seems like you could take direction well? Are you open minded and willing to listen to your director or do you seem like you already know all the answers?

I know as well as anyone that it can be hard to accept that you weren’t chosen. It can be frustrating and disappointing. So as you approach your audition for SEUSSICAL or for any show, please remember that if you don’t get the part, it isn’t because you don’t have the talent.  It doesn’t mean you weren’t good. Keep the faith and try again because no two shows are the same, and the same people will not always fit best for every show. Have you heard the saying, “Variety is the spice of life”? It’s true. You just might be the perfect fit at your next audition.

Break a Leg!
Paige Hoke
DreamWrights Guest Director