Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Building Up to a Show...

Yes, it’s that time of year again – our annual public show. Actually, we don’t get many ‘public’ but we do invite our student’s’ teachers to come along which we think is a really nice thing for the children to do. We do get 10 or 12 coming and the children are thrilled to have them there.

So this year it’s ‘Imagine’. I’m delighted/scared to say that I know very little at all about what’s going to be put on stage. This year I haven’t written the show, sung the theme tune, written the theme tune etc so, although I know the story it’s based on, I’ve no idea how Louisa/Vicky and the teams are going to stage it.

What’s involved at our end? Well, this year’s show is very costume light thank goodness. I don’t think our garage can store much more – there are already 90-odd tough crates full of cossies! But we think it will look beautiful – lots of coloured scarves, lycra etc. There’s also virtually no set to prepare as the kids will be creating tableaux. All of which means it’s a little less stressful for everyone – students included. Less focus on the technical, more focus on the performance – which is really how it should be.

We also value enormously the contribution of The SandPit in getting our shows on the stage. In all our years of dealing with them and as managers have come and gone they’ve never been anything less than totally supportive, creative and positive. It is important for any budding producer/stage manager to understand how important it is to be courteous and understanding when going into a receiving venue – we absolutely believe in being on our best behaviour and hopefully seeing how we work with The SandPit will stand the children in good stead if ever they are in that position in future.

And running the shows themselves? Yes, it is immensely tiring getting 4 groups dress rehearsed and on in such a short space of time. The help we receive from parents is crucial but we believe they have great fun – which is probably why we get the same volunteers year after year (and not just because we have a secret stash of wine and chocolate back there). But for the children we want the whole experience to be memorable. If we are well organised and calm, this radiates confidence to cast and crew and results in a fabulous experience for everyone. It has been commented on many times how calm and in control Annette and I seem during show times – believe me, it’s only because we organise everything to death BEFORE we get there – and even then sometimes a serene exterior hides a turbulent, throbbing mass of bubbling stress!

 It’s all worth it to see how the children react and when the curtain falls the electric positive energy is wonderful to be part of. That’s what it’s all about!