Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wrap Party -- New Date!

The wrap party for cast and crew (and Parents!) has been moved to Tuesday, April 23.  It will still be from 6:30 - 8:00 PM, and will still be in the school's multi-purpose room.  Please use the entrance off of Midway (the same entrance we used for rehearsals).  Since there isn't much parking at the back of the building, parents are encouraged to park near the back of the school parking lot and walk behind the building.  Thanks!  See you there!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Cast and Crew Party!

The wrap party for cast and crew has been moved to Wednesday, April 18 in the school's multi-purpose room. Party will be from 6:30 - 8:00 PM.  All who worked on the show, along with their parents, are welcome to attend.  We should have some pizza, pop, etc.  I'm sure music will be played.  Let's celebrate your accomplishment -- you gave them a great show!  Time for fun!!

Costume Returns

Please make sure that any costume pieces you have that were borrowed from CGHS are cleaned and returned to me or Amy Krigas as soon as possible.  Amy Krigas' contact information is available on this callboard note:

And you can contact me by phone, text, comment below, or through the school office.

Thanks!!  Great show, all!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Closing Night!

I've been hearing all weekend how great the show is -- well done, all!!  Remember, after today's performance, we'll have our special curtain call for our 8th Graders, then we'll stick around and strike our set.  Be sure to bring clothes to work in!

Remember to bring any personal items you've been using as props home with you, and please have your borrowed costume pieces cleaned and returned to Mrs. Krigas as quickly as you can.

Thanks all!  Let's break a leg today!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Rehearsals Friday and Monday

Remember, cast and crew, we do have rehearsal Friday, April 6 and Monday, April 9, even though there is no school those days.  Rehearsal times are the same -- 6:15 PM to 8:30 PM.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Note change in rehearsal time

Remember, until further notice, students are expected to be at rehearsal at 6:15 and will go until 8:30.  Also, we will have rehearsal on Friday this week and Monday next week, even though there is no school those days.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Music Man Hair, Costume, and Shoe Advice

Below is some advice for getting the look of our show to appear appropriate to 1912. Please feel free to
call or email me if you have questions!

Amy Krigas (Kelsey’s mom) 224-622-5949


Adult women should have hair that will work with their hat. Curl any bangs to sculpt into place and make
them look older. Long hair can be rolled and pinned loosely at nape of neck or in a low type bun.

Teen girls: A ponytail or the front half into a ponytail will work well. Use curls (ringlets) as much as
possible. Add a ribbon to the hair to match dress. Can use a few curls pinned to head to create accent

Young Girls: pigtails or braid(s) are great. Add a ribbon(s) – big!

All men – hair parted to the side, slicked with pomade or gel is best. Use a fine tooth comb to do it. If they
have a little curl to their hair you can “finger wave” a little! No long hair, get a haircut that is above the
collar of your shirt.

Shoes: Please start wearing your performance shoes to rehearsal ASAP!

Adult women: a low heel of some kind. Dance character shoes are great if you have them or know
someone to borrow them from. I can also get them for you at my store if you are interested in purchasing
(black or tan). Make sure it is something that will stay on well and they can dance in!

Teen girls: either dance character shoes or a flat mary jane type shoe. Tan or white tights (or black if it
looks better)

Young girls: knee socks (white) with flat mary jane type shoe (black, brown, white).

All men/boys: Black or Brown dress shoe/shoe boot. Dress socks (knee socks – white, tan, brown, black -
if wearing knickers).


Girls: They have all been fit in costumes, please make the necessary alterations/repairs and start
wearing them. Add simple jewelry if you are a pickalittle lady.

Boys: Most boys have been given some pieces (hat, tie, shirt, vest, etc). Please get pants/dress shirt to
complete outfit if needed. Ask if you have specific questions. Boys will need belts and/or suspenders
to complete outfits.
If you were lent items from FRGMS please wash or have dry cleaned and return to the school after the
show. Mr. Pickering will give you further instructions.

If you have been lent any costume pieces from Mrs. Krigas, they came from CGHS. These items
have been lent to us (free of charge) and need to be returned clean. After the show please follow care
instructions on the tag (or ask Mrs. Krigas) to wash or dry clean (whatever it says) the borrowed items and
return to the Krigas’ home: 1115 Paul Ct during the week following the show. Just leave on the porch if
we aren’t home.

Again – let me know if you need further instruction on anything!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

This week

This week, we're continuing to put together and tighten the show.  I want actors to work on being in character while on stage and being unseen and unheard off stage.  Remember -- "Theatre Ninjas"!  I also want the actors to work on keeping energy up during songs.  Sparkle!!  Smile when singing, and give every move a purpose!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Rehearsal Notes 3-13

  • Rock Island Salesmen -- much better all around!  Keep up the good work!  I noticed several people tapping their feet to keep time -- we want to go from tapping feet to bouncing in place to keep time.
  • Ensemble -- In "Iowa Stubborn", sing bigger out of Alma's line, "She wouldn't have come anyway."
  • Harold -- after "Iowa Stubborn", start dialogue with Jacey about the rig faster and don't stand right in front of him.
  • Harold -- review lines during "You Got Trouble".
  • Amaryllis -- nice reaction after the "Old Maid" line!
  • Quartet -- I liked that you take off your hats during "Columbia, Gem of the Ocean".  Nice!  Keep it!
  • Ensemble -- After Mayor's line, "a spectacle; my wife", we need a gasp of reaction from you.
  • Wa Tan Ye girls -- be more scared of the firecracker noise.
  • Harold -- in "76 Trombones", end "tantara" on an up note rather than a down note.
  • Harold -- in "76 Trombones", indicate the Shinns to come up and move on.  Don't linger to see if they come up.
  • Harold -- in "76 Trombones", good job picking up the tuba in the instruments when you mime the instruments!
  • Quartet -- need to review blocking on "Goodnight Ladies"
  • Ensemble -- the two lines in "Wells Fargo Wagon" are sloppy and jumbled.  We need to clean those up.
  • Ensemble -- don't start talking to each other after "Wells Fargo Wagon".  We need to continue with the scene.
  • Shipoopi dancers -- you looked like there was a lot of confusion during the dance.  We need to review this dance to tighten it up.
  • Mayor -- come in right after Shipoopi and go straight to Tommy.  Don't try to sneak in.  Big, bold entrance is needed.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Tonight's Rehearsal

We had a pretty rough rehearsal tonight, no question.  We need to use this week and next wisely to pull the scenes and songs together into a show.  Actors need to work on having their lines down pat, knowing when and where the next entrance is, and what your character does when he or she gets there.  Actors need to be in character the entire time they're on stage and when they're not on stage, be focused on the next time they'll be on stage.

Actors need to be at rehearsal, ready to rehearse.  If you can't be at rehearsal, it is your responsibility to review your lines, songs, choreography and blocking.  There is no substitute for spending time in your character in the show.

Let's get to rehearsal at 6:30 tomorrow night and be prepared to work hard to bring this show together and make these characters and songs come alive!  I know it's in you -- let it out!  Time to give these rehearsals everything you've got!

Set/Prop Construction Tuesday, March 13

Students signed up to work on Set & Prop construction -- we will be doing some painting and sanding of some of the pieces on Tuesday evening, March 13.  Students should come dressed in clothes for painting.  We will start at 6:15 PM and expect to go until 7:30 PM.  Crew will work in the multi-purpose room.  Please enter and exit through the doors off Midway.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tonight's Rehearsal Notes

Notes from tonight's rehearsal:

Harold -- don't ad lib.  Example: don't add "whatever that is" after "minuet in G".

All Cast -- no talking after songs.  Hold the pose at the end of the song, then continue on with the scene. If the song is at the end of the scene, go to Places for next entrance.

All Cast -- a few members of the cast could be seen on stage when they were supposed to be off stage.  If you're not on stage, get off stage!  If you can see the house, you're on stage.

All Cast -- Stay out of the back curtain!  No one is allowed behind that curtain at any time for any reason!

Mayor Shinn -- review lines and entrances/exits to make sure you enter and exit from the correct side.

Harold -- "Mother of pearl keys" -- Sell the instrument!

Pick a Little Ladies -- Enter BIG!!

All Cast -- I hear talking backstage from the house.  If you are backstage, there is NO TALKING!

All Cast -- Until Tech Week, stay in the house, not backstage, until you need to be in place for an entrance.

Things we need to work on:

1. Lines -- we need to get lines down.  We are very close to the point where actors will not be able to ask for lines - they will have to cover if they don't know their lines.  Get those lines down!

2. Purpose -- actors need to know at all times what we're rehearsing, where they need to be, when and where the next entrance is, and they need to get there quickly and quietly.

3. Props and Set Pieces -- these are fragile!  They are not toys!  If an item is your character's prop, use it ON STAGE, IN CHARACTER ONLY!  If it is not, DO NOT TOUCH IT!

4. No talking backstage!  No talking out of character on stage!

See you at rehearsal tomorrow night!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Goals this week

Our rehearsal goals this week are to continue putting the show together -- going from scenes into songs into the next scene into the next song.  I want the actors to focus on remembering their lines, blocking, and choreography, work on concentration so that they know what scene is on and when and where their next entrance is, and work on not talking when not on stage.  These are primary and important things to have down.  I also want the actors to continue to work toward the goals they've chosen when on stage in character.

Monday night there is rehearsal.  I know there's no school on Monday, but I appreciate all who can make it to rehearsal.  The more people that come to rehearsal, the more we can do.  A number of actors missed rehearsal last Friday due to the bad weather, so this is a good time to catch up.

Tuesday during vocal rehearsal I will be meeting with the students who have volunteered to work on tech.  Looking forward to meeting everyone and getting going!  This is when we start ramping up our set and prop building and getting our costumes together.

Keep working on lines and choreography at home.  Also practice your circle exercise.  The small amount of time you give these at home pays off a lot at rehearsal, and ultimately, in performance.

We will continue to work "Rock Island" all week.

We will continue to work off book.  Actors should ask for "line" if they need a line prompt.  When they get the prompt, they should just continue to move forward in the scene.

See you at rehearsal!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Where the Magic Happens

I saw this today and immediately thought of you.  This is what we do in theatre.  It's like an extension of the circle exercise, isn't it?

Expanding yourself outside your comfort zone not only helps you get into character, sing out, and get the choreography sharp; it teaches you more about what you're truly capable of doing than almost anything else.

See it -- Work toward it -- Achieve it!  Keep at it until you have it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

It's snowing!

Once again, the weather has turned after the school day has ended.  What about rehearsal?

If the schools have not been closed, then there will still be rehearsal.  But please exercise reason -- if you feel the roads are too dangerous, please don't risk it.  Just send me a text or e-mail, or give me a call, and let me know you won't be there.

Thanks, and be safe!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rehearsal Tonight -- Attendance Optional

Rehearsal tonight is optional for cast.  The way it works is, if there is no school scheduled, but rehearsal is scheduled, the rehearsal is optional.  If you can attend, please do.  If you cannot attend for any reason, you are not required to, and you don't need to notify anyone.  These rehearsals are colored in blue on the online calendar.

We will do as much as we can tonight with whomever shows up.  It's difficult to plan what we'll do when I don't know who'll be there, but I will do something that involves everyone who's there. 

Remember, this week we start our OFF BOOK rehearsals.  Though I may not be as strict about it tonight, considering it's an optional rehearsal.

Tomorrow is voice rehearsal for all cast.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Entering next phase of rehearsal

We have one scene to block and a couple of songs to choreograph, and then the show is blocked!  Great job!  This moves us into the next phase of  rehearsal, when the actors focus on their characters and goals.  This gets easier when we get off book after next week and the actors can move around without a book in their hands.

Keep up the hard work!  It will be important to keep moving forward as we start to bring in tech elements.

Tonight's rehearsal will focus on the "Rock Island" number and on line memorization.  8th graders have their program at the high school tonight, so anyone who will be over there is already excused from rehearsal.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Off Book Reminder

Remember that the cast will start off-book rehearsals the week of Feb 20th.  Starting with rehearsals that week, cast members will not be able to have their scripts in their hands during scenes.  Actors will be able to ask for a line prompt by saying "line".

Tip:  Go over your lines a little at a time each night.  Work on a scene at a time, or cut the scene in half if it is a large scene.  You'll have your lines down without much effort!

Schedule Changes

There are changes in the rehearsal schedule for Thrusday, Feb 2 and Friday, Feb 3. 

Thursday night we'll review songs we've finished so far.  6:30 - 7:00 we'll do "Piano Lesson", "Goodnight My Someone", and "Gary, Indiana".  7:00 - 7:30 we'll do "Iowa Stubborn", "Ya Got Trouble", and "76 Trombones".  7:30 - 8:00 we'll do "Rock Island" with the Traveling Salesmen and train passengers.

Friday night will be vocal rehearsal in the Chorus Room at 6:30.

See you then!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Vocal Rehearsal Added Feb. 3

Vocal rehearsal has been added for Friday, February 3, at 6:30 PM.  Please remember to enter and leave through the Multi Purpose Room door off Midway.  This will be a rehearsal for the entire cast.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Note Schedule Change Tonight

Please note that vocal rehearsal was moved to tonight, Monday night, at 6:30 PM.  I'd like to get as much vocal rehearsal done as possible, but if there's any time, we'll also block what we have left in Scene 2.  Remember to enter and exit throught the Multi-Purpose Room door off of Midway, as usual.  See you tonight!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Notes from tonight's rehearsal

Great job, everyone!  We got Scene 5 done!  This is a big scene, and it took a lot of effort to get it all done, so well done!
  • Listen for cues.  Don't let them drop, and don't react to something that hasn't happened yet.  Listen and react -- just like you do in real life.
  • Don't make random movements.  Every move you make onstage as your character should mean something.  If it doesn't, don't do it.
  • Write your blocking down right away.  The longer you wait to write them down, the more likely you are to forget it.  If you didn't take notes during rehearsal, do it right after.
Good rehearsal!  Have a great weekend, and we'll see you Monday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Notes from tonight's rehearsal

A few notes from tonight's rehearsal:
  • We got both songs blocked and choreographed (and I think the new ending to "Trouble" will look much better!).  Good job!  Getting choreography down is tough -- it takes repetition and concentration, but we're off to a good start.  In time, these will seem really easy.
  • We didn't get to much of the blocking around the songs in Scene 2.  Again, let me remind you that "places" means to get in your starting position, don't talk, and be ready to go.  Cues come up fast, especially in the middle of a song!  Pay attention so you don't miss them!
  • As you start to remember the choreography better, the very next step is to make each move as crisp and sharp as you can.
  • Remember, in a musical, the rule of thumb is, don't do a small move when a big move will do.  Gotta make sure they'll see you all the way in the back of the house!
  • Use your CDs!  When we learn new songs and choreography, spend about 10 minutes going over what you learned.  It'll pay off big time when we come back and do the song and dance next rehearsal!
Tomorrow night we do Scene 5.  Get some rest, and come in ready to go!  Remember to check the calendar if you're not sure of the time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Which scene am I in?

If you're not sure which scenes or songs you're in, these scenes and songs have the entire ensemble at some point:

Scene 2
Iowa Stubborn
Ya Got Trouble
Scene 5
Columbia, Gem of the Ocean
76 Trombones
Scene 8
Wells Fargo Wagon
Everyone appears in Scene 10.

And any other scene or song your character is in.

Notes from tonight's rehearsal

Good work from everyone at rehearsal tonight!  When we're missing people it makes rehearsal a bit harder, so good job everyone for keeping your concentration up.  Tomorrow night should be better as we won't have as many conflicts, so we should have more cast members at tomorrow night's rehearsal.

Please remember to text or call the phone number if you can't make rehearsal or think you'll be late.

A few more notes:
  • When I stop to give direction or answer a question, don't start talking to your neighbor.  Listen -- you'll probably benefit as well as the person I'm speaking with.
  • "Places" means to get in position for the start of the song or scene.  Be quiet and prepare by getting into character or thinking about what we're dancing or singing, or where you'll be moving.
  • Remember to enter and exit through the Multi Purpose Room entrance.
Go over the songs we did tonight with your scripts and CDs.  Especially those of you in the Rock Island number at the top of the show.  It's important to get the words in the rhythm.  Keep working at it, and you'll get it.

Tomorrow night we'll go over "Ya Got Trouble" again and catch up the people who were at Sports Awards Night.  We'll also be doing "Iowa Stubborn" and hopefully blocking the rest of Scene 2.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Great first rehearsal!

Thanks again to Mrs. O'Reilly-Greene, the Parents who attended tonight, and the fantastic cast we have for this show!  Great read-through tonight!  Remember, this is the first step on our rehearsal journey.  We got to hear the characters' voices all together for the first time, and we discussed our concepts for the show.  Good way to start, people!

As you go through your scripts, take note of the footnotes -- there are many references we'll need to make sure we get right, and some explanations of the language used in 1912.  Some of the words and phrases aren't familiar to us 100 years later, but they'll need to be as comfortable as the phrases we use with our friends today.  And they will be.  Because you guys are that good.

I was really impressed with how much you brought to your characters already.  Well done!  We're off to a great start.  Thank you for all your hard work over the break.

Tomorrow night, we'll start off with Rock Island.  We'll be working hard to get the rhythm down, then we'll put the characters in the rhythm.

Then we'll start working on "Ya Got Trouble".  The choreography won't be very heavy in this number, so we'll need to make sure we start working with getting our characters to come through in the song.

Remember to enter through the Multi-Purpose Room entrace off Midway, and come to Room 104.  Please remember to walk around the gym floor so we don't accidentally disturb the activity going on in there.

Thanks again!

Tonight's Rehearsal

Rehearsal tonight will be a short reiteration of the rehearsal rules, then we will read through and discuss the show.  Rehearsals the first few weeks will be choreography and voice, then blocking the scenes around the songs.  Please check the calendar daily to see what we're rehearsing -- and where.

Welcome back, everyone!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Welcome to the Virtual Callboard!

In a theatre, the callboard is the place where the director will post notes to the cast and crew.  With this year's show, I'm testing putting more information where it can be more easily reached by students and parents.  Please let me know how it's working, in comments or by e-mail, phone, or text.

I'm very excited about this year's show!  We have a great cast and a great musical!  I can't wait to get started!

Your Director,

Mr. Pickering