Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Children's Theatre vs. Real Theatre

Does children's theater deserve less regard than real theater? I think I need to define and get more specific:
~When I say "deserves less regard," I mean less respect or less attention from the audience. Basically, does the audience get to ignore or, perhaps, make fun of performers if it's just a children's show? Is it alright if the audience becomes disruptive - such as yelling out to the performers, talking out loud or even whispering - if it's a children's show?
~When I say "real theater" I'm talking about going to a building that's got a stage and lights and props and costumes and there's an admissions charge.
~Now to get specific about the show:
What if the show is a group of children who are performing in the living room for their family?
What if the show is a group of children performing in a classroom?
What if the show is a group of children performing in front of their whole school and parents?
Does it matter if they're performing on the floor or on a stage? Should it matter?
What if the costumes or the set aren't fancy?
What if it's an adult troupe performing on the gym floor at a school?
What if it's an adult troupe performing on the grass at a park?
What if it's an adult troupe performing a children's show on a stage in a building that seats 500?

Here's what I think: The quality of the shows are definitely going to change but the quality of the audience behavior should not. I have seen the lack of regard by families who are attending a school production. "It's just the kids," they seem to think as they answer or play with cell phones or allow their younger children to run around. I have seen teachers stand in the back of the gym and carry on not-as-quiet-as-they-think conversations during a children's show put on by adults. For some reason, we've gotten the idea that it's okay to act differently if we're watching just a children's play than if we are dressed up and paying for a seat at the the-uh-tah. It's not okay. Audience members: act like you're dressed up; act like you paid a pretty penny to be able to watch a children's play, no matter where it's being performed or by whom.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Audiobooks on the Bucket List

I love audiobooks when I'm driving and when I'm cleaning or when my eyes are too tired to read but I'm still awake enough to listen. (I must admit, there have been times when I go to sleep while listening to an audiobook in bed; but then I also find myself asleep when the book I'm reading lands on my face. I have got to start reading books at other times during waking hours.)

I would love to learn the art of being an audiobook reader. There are some great narrators. Jim Dale comes to mind (Harry Potter; Liesl and Po). Man, can he do voices. I've enjoyed David Hyde Pierce (The Phantom Tollbooth) too. There are many others. I guess I'll put "Learn how to audiobook and record a book" on my list of things to do. Time to practice reading out loud. Do I have that kind of patience? That's the big question, for sure.

The whole reason I was spurred on to write this blog post is because an indie author, Megg Jensen, whose books I've been collecting and enjoying is having a giveaway of an audiobook....and I love audiobooks. So if you'd like to try to win her audiobook, just click here. (And may I be so greedy to ask that you not click on that link? I'd like to win. Thank you ever so much.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Apologies!

To All the Kids and Adults I Have Ever Directed:
I'm sorry for making you suffer through auditions and then having to get paragraphs and paragraphs of words perfectly memorized!

In February, I decided to audition for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in my own community. It was supposed to be primarily for children to perform in. There were a few openings for adults. I figured I could be a grandparent that shows up in the first scene or maybe a parent that shows up at Wonka's factory until my kid gets sucked up a pipe or blows up like a blueberry. What a surprise to be cast as Willie (the female version of Willy) Wonka! How delightful! But...that character never stops talking! There are thousands and thousands of gallons of words to memorize. I. Am. Feeling. The. Pain! My head hurts from memorizing; my throat hurts from projecting.


So, I am sorry for being a demanding director--and I thank you for all your hard work--but I'm afraid I'm not changing. I still must insist you memorize lines, get your blocking right, and act well your part. At least you know I've suffered as you have.