PDA

View Full Version : Theatre Now!



Boo
2009-05-13, 12:29 AM
Right, so I'm working volunteering in part of a play called the Wyrd Sisters (adapted by Stephen Briggs from the Terry Pratchet novel) and it's almost time for the show to go on. What I want from you all is...

Suggestions for the next show! :cool:

Now, some of the cast (including myself) are considering Rocky Horror, and frankly... I'm so gonna be Riff Raff! but some others dislike the idea, and the rest are undecided. Any suggestions of plays or musicals would be much appreciated.

One thing, though: No Shakespearean works. They've been done to death, my dears.

THAC0
2009-05-13, 12:38 AM
Rocky Horror is Lame.

Good Shakespeare has not been done to death.

If you're into some good drama, check out Tennessee Williams.

If you're looking for musicals, go for Sondheim.

Icewalker
2009-05-13, 12:46 AM
Doctor Horrible? Phantom of the Opera?

I'll just say, any suggestion I might have is likely to be a musical.

Boo
2009-05-13, 12:50 AM
I should mention that it's all volunteers, so if you suggest something hard for beginners and the like, I probably won't consider it. I, myself, and a fantastic actor; I just can't sing my way out of a tin can (or whatever that saying is).

Dr. Horrible is an interesting thought, however.

THAC0
2009-05-13, 12:56 AM
I should mention that it's all volunteers, so if you suggest something hard for beginners and the like, I probably won't consider it. I, myself, and a fantastic actor; I just can't sing my way out of a tin can (or whatever that saying is).

Dr. Horrible is an interesting thought, however.

...In that case, please do not butcher Sondheim!

Depending on your troop's acting ability, Tennessee Williams might work. I've seen it done well enough with highschoolers.

RabbitHoleLost
2009-05-13, 01:08 AM
If you think Shakespeare's been done to death, what about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosencrantz_and_Guildenstern_Are_Dead)?

randman22222
2009-05-13, 01:51 AM
If you think Shakespeare's been done to death, what about Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosencrantz_and_Guildenstern_Are_Dead)?

I thought it was slightly dry, but then, I only ever read half of the first act. :smalltongue:

Tennessee Williams is quite a good idea. I recently read The Glass Menagerie, and it was one heckuva play.

dagaarn
2009-05-13, 02:11 AM
Appropriate a Dr. Seuss book! If you do this then I want to see videos...

Boo
2009-05-13, 10:09 AM
...In that case, please do not butcher Sondheim!

Depending on your troop's acting ability, Tennessee Williams might work. I've seen it done well enough with highschoolers.

Y'know, even though we're most likely not to do any Sondheim, you're being too pessimistic for this thread. Lighten up, and take a pill. Otherwise, don't continue. It's very rude, and completely uncalled for.

Yes, we take on novices, but we also have many talented people join. The production company in question takes on anyone who wants a part, even if they have to add a part for that person. It's a small community, and everyone is allowed to join (Yes, even the handicapped up to a point).

I don't care if whatever we do is 'sacred' or 'special' in your eyes, but you'll NEVER see it. What problem could you have with that?

THAC0
2009-05-13, 10:45 AM
Y'know, even though we're most likely not to do any Sondheim, you're being too pessimistic for this thread. Lighten up, and take a pill. Otherwise, don't continue. It's very rude, and completely uncalled for.

Yes, we take on novices, but we also have many talented people join. The production company in question takes on anyone who wants a part, even if they have to add a part for that person. It's a small community, and everyone is allowed to join (Yes, even the handicapped up to a point).

I don't care if whatever we do is 'sacred' or 'special' in your eyes, but you'll NEVER see it. What problem could you have with that?

Uh... Whoa. First off, I apologize if you misconstrued my response, which was intended to be moderately joking.

Secondly, after I made my first post, you posted again specifically stating
I should mention that it's all volunteers, so if you suggest something hard for beginners and the like, I probably won't consider it

Since Sondheim IS difficult for beginners, I figured I ought to retract my suggestion in light of the newly provided information. I was in no way meaning to be insulting to you - you're the one who requested it shouldn't be hard for beginners.

RMS Oceanic
2009-05-13, 10:52 AM
So...
Did you hear the story of the Johnston Twins,
As like each other as two new pins,
Of one womb, born on the self same day,
How one was kept, and one given away?
And did you hear how the Johnstons died,
Never knowing that they shared one name 'til the day they died,
When the mother cried "My own dear sons lie slain"?
And did you hear of the mother, so cruel there's a stone in place of her heart?
Then bring her on,
And come, judge for yourselves, how she came to play this part... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Brothers_(musical))

Kaelaroth
2009-05-13, 11:07 AM
Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard? Or, for that matter, any Stoppard?

LCR
2009-05-13, 11:41 AM
I've always tremendously enjoyed The Importance of Being Earnest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Importance_of_Being_Earnest) by big, bearded, bonking, butch Oscar Wilde, terror of the ladies.
Or maybe you could try some Ibsen, especially A Doll's House (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Doll%27s_House).
If you're into German drama, you might also like The Visit (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Visit) by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

RabbitHoleLost
2009-05-14, 01:31 PM
I thought it was slightly dry, but then, I only ever read half of the first act. :smalltongue:
I loved Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, but perhaps that's just my preferences and my fear of having no identity.
>>
And I got to be Guildernstern <3

Jibar
2009-05-14, 02:13 PM
So...
Did you hear the story of the Johnston Twins,
As like each other as two new pins,
Of one womb, born on the self same day,
How one was kept, and one given away?
And did you hear how the Johnstons died,
Never knowing that they shared one name 'til the day they died,
When the mother cried "My own dear sons lie slain"?
And did you hear of the mother, so cruel there's a stone in place of her heart?
Then bring her on,
And come, judge for yourselves, how she came to play this part... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_Brothers_(musical))

Ah man, I saw a brilliant performance of that in London.

Thufir
2009-05-14, 04:50 PM
Arcadia, by Tom Stoppard? Or, for that matter, any Stoppard?

Might be difficult for beginners? I mean, in Arcadia you have to portray the switching time periods, which might get problematic (Especially toward the end, when you start having both in the same scene).
Of course, I don't know for sure, as I've only read the plays, and never been involved in performing them.

Rutskarn
2009-05-14, 05:30 PM
The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail is pretty good.

Kaelaroth
2009-05-14, 05:36 PM
Might be difficult for beginners? I mean, in Arcadia you have to portray the switching time periods, which might get problematic (Especially toward the end, when you start having both in the same scene).
Of course, I don't know for sure, as I've only read the plays, and never been involved in performing them.

Shouldn't be too hard, methinks. All it really requires is some careful kinesthetic consideration.

Yarram
2009-05-15, 05:18 AM
What about The Crucible. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_crucible)
That's a fun one! Maybe too hard though? =P

Innis Cabal
2009-05-15, 05:43 AM
Ah man, I saw a brilliant performance of that in London.

Saw it in London myself, honestly...couldn't have been more bored out of my skull. Best play I ever saw was Macbeth, actually in Stratford apon Avon

Hazkali
2009-05-15, 04:37 PM
I'm disappointed with the lack of love for the Bard.

As for plays, I don't know what sort of a budget you're on; you say that you're all volunteers, so I presume it isn't massive. Some of the works that others have mentioned will probably still require you to pay royalties, buy scripts etc, whereas something that is now copyright-expired would be much cheaper and easier to produce.

With that in mind, I would have to second the suggestion for The Importance of Being Earnest by that rugby-playing, beer-quaffing, bastion of Victorian values Oscar Wilde. It's quite funny and more importantly allows you to legitimately don frock-coats and top hats and strut about in fabulous late-Victorian clothing. This is, I feel, its greatest selling point :smallbiggrin:.

Phae Nymna
2009-05-20, 04:50 PM
...In that case, please do not butcher Sondheim!

Depending on your troop's acting ability, Tennessee Williams might work. I've seen it done well enough with highschoolers.

It's troupe, not troop. Anyway, beginners and a general assortment of volunteers != failure. Ease up a little. Tennessee Williams isn't beginners work either, I might add.

The Laramie Project by Moises Kaufman and Members of The Tectonic Theater Project is a stunning play, achievable, with some work, by highschoolers and beginners.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is a lot less vocally demanding than, say, Sweeney Todd, but both can be done.

Seussical the Musical is a personal favorite, great for young actors. MTI has a Jr. line for smaller productions.

Let's see... Oliver, Little Shop, Aida, Fame, Rent, Godspell, and, if you're feeling antique, some Socrates.

EDIT: My poor attention span kept me from reading your explanation. Sorry bout that. :smallredface:

MrEdwardNigma
2009-05-20, 05:33 PM
You have a theatre group without your own writers?

Dear god, what a shame! We have three groups and still too many writers, though the most brilliant of the lot is to be shipped abroad next year together with our best actor.

Anyways, on to suggestions (though really, own work is generally to be preferred, it's always baffled me there's so little innovation in theatre).

One play that seems to stick out as something interesting to do (and strangely, the only thing that comes to mind this instant) is The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. It's a bit of a mouthful, but it's a great piece.

Finally, don't do The King in Yellow. I've heard that's a very bad idea indeed.

Boo
2009-05-20, 07:55 PM
>>

I definitely didn't forget about this thread...


Uh... Whoa. First off, I apologize if you misconstrued my response, which was intended to be moderately joking.

Good jokes can be found between the lines. There was not enough space. Awful shame.
You have a theatre group without your own writers?

Dear god, what a shame! We have three groups and still too many writers, though the most brilliant of the lot is to be shipped abroad next year together with our best actor.

Anyways, on to suggestions (though really, own work is generally to be preferred, it's always baffled me there's so little innovation in theatre).

One play that seems to stick out as something interesting to do (and strangely, the only thing that comes to mind this instant) is The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. It's a bit of a mouthful, but it's a great piece.

Finally, don't do The King in Yellow. I've heard that's a very bad idea indeed.

Also known as Marat/Sade. :smalltongue: But yeah, we have a small budget, a cast of 20-30 depending, and we're not actually payed for this. All volunteer and supported by donations. We don't write our own because no one has the time (I am working on several projects), and it would likely get more people if it's a play everyone (or mostly everyone) knows.

Did I mention that the town I live in consists of 20,000 people? And most of them aren't interested in joining the play. Only some of the remainder would actually participate in the play. And some of those would likely drop out soon after joining if at all.

The cast ranges from year to year, as the people in it (and the director) are not always the same. Usually we have about five to seven people above fourty, five to ten above twenty, and the rest are below that with a few people under ten.

In the end, none of that matters. What matters is that we gave people a show, and they liked it.

When we're all done with the play, I'll scrounge up all the plays here and send them to the current director since she seems to know everyone better than I. I'll draw up a trophy for someone if a play from their suggestion is chosen.

Egiam
2009-05-21, 01:48 PM
Did you say volunteers?....

:smallbiggrin:

Our Town
by Thorton Wilder

Best play written by an American.

Ever.

Requires around 30 characters (think Simpsons), but the production I was in condensed it to 13 actors (I played 4 roles). It has plenty of small roles, but three difficult ones, and one part for a grandmaster. Almost no props. It is amazing when done well.

Seeing a performance of this can change your perspective on life, death, and existence.

Do it.

DamnedIrishman
2009-05-21, 03:10 PM
Do more of Stephen Brigg's Discword adaptations, of course!

Alternatively, why not Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest if you want something amusing? Or if you wanted something serious and dramatic, I quite liked All My Sons by Arthur Miller.

Mustiado
2009-05-21, 04:16 PM
I'm going to second the motion of Shakespeare is not dead, considering my last job and hopefully my next will be from The Bard. ?:)

If you want an easy stage play, I'll second The Crucible, or A Streetcar Named Desire. If you want a smaller show and have some strong singers, I can recommend I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change. Four person show, mostly skits and songs, always a crowd pleaser. Lloyd Weber's music isn't very complicated, and neither is Frank Wildhorn. Jekyll and Hyde is a show I've seen done by a smaller troupe that requires one VERY strong singer/actor, but that's really all. A simple musical to do would be The Goodbye Girl.

I hope some of those help.

TheBST
2009-05-21, 04:35 PM
Did you say volunteers?....
Our Town
by Thorton Wilder

Best play written by an American.


Lies make baby Jesus cry.

Do 'The Revenger's Tragedy', but market it as a comedy.

EndlessWrath
2009-05-21, 05:55 PM
Did you say volunteers?....

:smallbiggrin:

Our Town
by Thorton Wilder
Whats wrong with volunteers? everyone auditioning should be volunteering?

I must agree here actually... I just did a performance of our town 3 weeks ago.. I was "The Stage manager" or according to egiam the "grandmaster". It actually is a decent play, for all you theatre junkies out there Our Town is a little over (I'm not sure if its like in the 60's.. so don't quote me. its one of the two) 70 years of age and its been in production every day since its release. Every day since the first performance, someone, somewhere, has been producing this play. I was flabbergasted upon hearing this.


Requires around 30 characters (think Simpsons), but the production I was in condensed it to 13 actors (I played 4 roles). It has plenty of small roles, but three difficult ones, and one part for a grandmaster. Almost no props. It is amazing when done well.

It does have a big cast, but we did it 15-20 people because a lot of roles are just 1-5 lines and in different scenes. So its easily able to have more people.


Seeing a performance of this can change your perspective on life, death, and existence.

This really is true, while the show has some funny parts (chuckle moments imo) its very serious and you gotta have a few really good actors. Stage manager needs to be rather friendly and touch the audience. He also has 14 five-page monologues. I just played him, it was a doozie, but i got the lines down pat after a month and a half. A few other Character's lines are REALLY powerful as well. so be careful who's picked for what.

Also, suggestions i have.

I happen to like Little shop of horrors and Annie get your gun. I don't suggest Jekyll and Hyde (Jekyll needs to be able to hit pretty high notes, and if you have one person playing both jekyll and hyde... thats a ton of lines to memorize and a very large range of notes to hit). I do like plays as well, not very well known plays tend to give you a lot of room (our town is a minimalistic show with not much room to branch out due to copy right.) I like the Pillow Man, but its really not suitable for anyone under the age of 17 due to graphic violence and the amount of obscene language. Theatrically its a good piece though. A few other shorter ones, 1 act plays, do 2 for 1 night. Small cast plays.

Also, I'm an actor, and if you head near richmond, definitely let me know

Egiam
2009-05-22, 01:28 PM
Endless: You, Sir, by my standards, are a Grandmaster to memorize those lines.

EDIT: The role of the Stage Manager requires a grandmaster of Dionysus.

The play is set in New Hampshire in 1902.

It has a few laugh-out-loud parts too!

RabbitHoleLost
2009-05-22, 01:39 PM
Did you say volunteers?....

:smallbiggrin:

Our Town
by Thorton Wilder


My high school did it.
...
And that's all I have to say on it, as it didn't leave a huge impression on me. Something about a woman dieing and getting to live one day of her life over again, or some such.

EndlessWrath
2009-05-22, 07:02 PM
Endless: You, Sir, by my standards, are a Grandmaster to memorize those lines.
Mind if i sig that? :smallbiggrin:


EDIT: The role of the Stage Manager requires a grandmaster of Dionysus.
? Grandmaster of Dionysus? As in the god of partying, fertillity, and theater?

I guess i can somewhat agree >.< I know it requires a friendly persona. Stage Manager breaks the 4th wall all the time, pulls the audience in directly and delivers the final push to the ideas. Emily & Stage manager really require very powerfully developed monologues.
There all multiple themes for the play, but the main idea is the play follows 1 town, the lives of the people at the time, and shows the whole story. The daily life, love and marriage, then death and the realization that people don't stop and smell the roses, they don't take the time to say "I love you" and to see how beautiful things are...and in the end, we don't have enough time to do so when we finally realize it. The final monologue basically Starts the play over again.

Also, if you like that kind of thing, try Thorton Wilders "Skin of our teeth". Kinda makes light of Dooms day and the end of the world. Shows that humans can rebuild and live on after every dooms day. its good.

-Wrath