Category Archives: Literature

80 Days, and then some more

Reports from the Rehearsal Room:

In rehearsal: Bill Johns/Detective Fix and Nolan Palmer/Passepartout.

In rehearsal: Bill Johns/Detective Fix and Nolan Palmer/Passepartout.

1. Saturday’s Designer Run went great! I take it as a personal complement that the cast did very well – and  some members of the design/technical team were grinning>>  and still had their heads spinning (17 dialects…150-200 sound cues…300+ lighting cues…33 characters!). Good Times and Adventures for everyone!!

2. Two of our actors and I spoke with the host of an Arts program on KING-FM (our classic music station), about the show and she was very excited. Even wants to do a follow-up interview with the costume designer and the dialect coach; she was very intrigued about how we’ll pull off so many quick costume changes and multiple dialects.

3. Just got off the phone with a writer from Seattle’s Child, who’ll write an article promoting the play as a great outting for families with kids 10 yrs+.  She was very taken with the adventure story appeal of the material and the theatricality of the production. That’s a good sign:  we want a lot of people enchanted by the very idea of the play … and then mob the theatre for tickets!

4. The cast is moving off-book this week, always a week of brain-strain for the best actors. It’s a wonderful, fun and mutually supportive cast (Ryan Childers, Bill Johns, Andrew Litzky, Nolan Palmer, and Alyson Scadron Banner), and I can’t be thankful enough for a great stage manager too (Anne Hitt). In a few days we’ll add all of the rehearsal props and constumes — fun times!

More to come!!!

Next up: Around the World in 80 Days!!

Rehearsing "Around the World in 80 Days"

Rehearsing "Around the World in 80 Days"

Began rehearsals last week for this adaptation of the Jules Verne classic, using 5 actors for 30+ characters, “select” costume pieces, a fairly simple flat stage, and a steamer trunk+2 chairs + 2 crates and a short stool. The rest is…MAGIC! and a lot of dialect work, quick changes, sound effects etc and the story comes alive.

We – the cast, designers and marketing team – reviewed the lost or blurred concept of “foreign lands and mysterious people” in an age where I can see anywhere with Google Earth, I can video chat with someone in Africa and the web keeps me updated on the most obscure news from around the world. 80 DAYS reminds us of a time when we truly were clueless about other cultures (and too superior as well), and traveling the globe bordered on insanity and danger.

And not to be left out, the very setup of Mark Brown’s adaptation celebrates Theatre’s ability to tell a rippin’ good story and capture the audience’s imagination, sense of adventure and funny-bone. A gazillion dialects and character changes, leaping from ship to train to elephant to… the people in the seats are in for an Adventure.

BTW, it’s a very fun and funny cast: Ryan Childers, Bill Johns, Andrew Litzky, Nolan Palmer and Alyson Scadron Banner (the sole female in a rowdy cast of guys). I am blessed with a cast that laughs easily and works hard.

More to follow in the coming days!!