Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Producer Diaries

The show countdown has begun. 22 days until opening night. Everyone in the cast is aware of it, but I'm really feeling it.

This is the first big, big project I've ever done and the risk is big. I mean that in the sense that, with the photo shoots, I can put the work out there and forget about it.  People only generally comment on the work if they like it.  With a show, it's entirely different.  There are things critics and tickets sales and all these things that can pile up to show you how successful your show is or isn't.   There is the also the added pressure of costumes to finish, the script needing a final polish, and rehearsals haven't even begun yet.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm complaining. I'm not, really,  I am so lucky to have the cast and creative team that I do.  So few people get a shot like this at age twenty-four, to put on a play that they wrote and retain creative control.  However, part of the goal of this project is to take the audience through the whole process of putting a show together.  To be honest stress and pressure is part of every show I've ever been a part of, and as weird as it sounds that's what makes the theatre so great.  There is the chance that what you're working on might fail, but when it doesn't and when opening night hits all of the headaches and late nights melt away and all you're left with is the fun bit.

Now before I wax too Doogie Howser-ish on this post I'll give you some updates:

Last night the cast met up for a nice dinner.  We sat and talked about the show and characters.  Some nice things were added to the script.  More over we just got to sit and bond a bit.  Now, I know that sounds strange, but in my opinion a cast that can go into a rehearsal process as friends has a much better shot of playing off of each other without having to spend the first three days figuring each other out.

Today I started on the costumes, I have until essentially next week Wednesday to get my stuff together.  So far I have a hat done and right now I'm taking a short break to knock out this post before starting a particularly difficult bustle skirt.

Tomorrow I head off to the Brumder to take a look at the progress on the set.  Sherlock's lab is being constructed in the basement, and I have to go give approval on somethings and drop off a few props.

I think that's all for tonight.  I hope you guys out in cyberland are looking forward to this project as much as I am.  The next post will include a link to the video footage of auditions, then you'll get to see my boys in action.  It's gonna be good.

Night everyone. The game's afoot!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In Support of "The Bible: The Complete Works of God (Abridged)"

For those of you who may be un aware; on August 9th of this month a radio evangelist took to the air waves to shut down a production of THE BIBLE: THE COMPLETE WORKS OF GOD ABRIDGED in Lapham Peak.

Russ Bickerstaff's Blog Curtains take a more in depth look at the full details of this story, here's a link I encourage you to read it:

"The DNR had revoked use of Lapham Peak State Park. And now the Summerstage of Delafield has been forced to look for another stage with only a little over a week until opening night. They really shouldn't have to. The Bible, as I say, is a really, REALLY durable book. It's withstood a lot more than a little sketch comedy."  -Russ Bickerstaff

I have also had the good fortune to work at Lapham State park with Summer stage on two wonderful shows, one of which was with the Brian Faracy the producer and one of the actors in the show.  Brian is an incredibly sweet, talented man and I can't believe that after all he's done for Summerstage and for actors alike, the DNR would roll over on him in such a disgusting fashion. 

The two other actors in the show Nate Press and Emmitt Morgans are dear friends of mine and I wish that the people of Delafield would get to see how truly talented they are.

There might be some reason to cancel THE COMPLETE WORKS OF GOD (ABRIDGED) if it were remotely controversial, however the show it self is just a light-hearted night out.  It's no more controversial than Andrew Lloyd Webber's JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR or Stephen Schwartz's GODSPELL. Each of those shows have their moments to poke fun at the bible in their own way, but you can bet that if Summerstage was producing either of those warhorses the public would come in droves supporting the mere suggestion of singing and dancing in the park.  For some reason it is suggested that because this show is simply a comedy and it doesn't have the toe tapping libretto of JCS or GODSPELL it doesn't deserve the same respect, when in fact this simple little comedy is an intelligent, entertaining script performed by some stellar actors who are really being given the short end of the stick here.

The whole boycott, the cancellation of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF GOD is an absolute abomination and I urge the community of Delafield to do something to fix the situation that they have created.  There is no reason to play into a group of overly touchy "church people" who every Sunday spout the ideals of love, acceptance, and forgiveness but then the moment something rubs them the wrong way they are the first to grab their picket signs.

Don't look at the the people who would willingly stop this show without even seeing it, just because the title seems to suggest blasphemy.  Look at the surge of support on facebook, in the media, and amongst the larger community.  That surely proves that this show should go on.

If this bothers you as much as it bothers me, please contact the DNR directly to show your support of local theatre. Call and ask for Hilary at 608-266-2121 or email her at

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sherlock: The First Table Read

Tonight we had the very first table read with the cast for the script for Sherlock Holmes and a Most Irregular Tea Party

Now I am aware that most of Reconstructing Grimm's readers are theatre folk, but for those you who aren't here is the wikipedia definition of what a table read is.

Table Read: a stage of film, television and theatre production when an organized reading around a table of the screenplay or script by the actors with speaking parts is conducted.

Now here's something to understand about our show.  I have said this from the beginning, I may be the author of this script, but I don't consider myself an author.  Due to that simple fact the Sherlock script is at the moment in a state of flux, meaning that whatever the actors would like to bring to the script in terms of line changes and characterization is than welcome, at least for the next few weeks.

At a certain point, when we have made as many changes as are needed the script will go on lock, which means no more changes, for the sanity of myself and the actors who would go crazy trying to memorize several different versions of the script.

We also invited two very important people to the read, the first was Ginny Jenkins who is helping our with props and small costume items and the very talent Matt Zembrowski.  Matt is creating some original music for our production.  Not all shows have music created, in fact it's not all that common in smaller theatre's at all.  However, Matt was very interested in the project and we're more than happy to have him on the team.

The read went very well in my opinion.  We had a good time, fixed a few things, and laughed a lot.  Here's hoping the rest of the production will chug along as nicely.

Tomorrow I have a meeting with Matt to discuss the music, and the rest of this week will be spent on costuming and working with Tom Marks on set design.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Strange Case of A Grimm Disappearance

I know, I know, it's been a while here on our end at Reconstructing Grimm.  You may be sitting there asking yourself, why has it taken so long to put together a new shoot?  Why haven't there been any new posts in a while?

The answer is elementary, and it's not that I've forgotten or lost interest.  We at Reconstructing Grimm have decided to move into a slightly larger territory.  So here is my big announcement,  Reconstructing Grimm is doing it's first full scale production.

I've written the script, we've spent the last few months workshopping it, there is a venue booked, we have a date set, and now we're right smack dab in the middle of casting. 

Over the course of the show there will be video blog posts following us on our journey from page to stage.  You'll see everything from the first table read to opening night.  And of course there will be a themed photo shoot for promotional purposes, hey after all that's what we do best.

Here comes the mean part of the blog post, as of now, with casting still being up in the air I am not revealing what the show is at all until we have a cast locked into place.  You won't have to wait much longer I promise, and I've left a few clues in this post that might give you a hint or two.
Hope you are all as excited as I am, and sorry for leaving you hanging for a bit.  I swear the finished result will be well worth it.  Until the next post!