I Want To Do A Broadway-Style Musical – Where Do I Start? (Part Two)
Now that you’ve chosen your musical, here are the next steps:
1.Set your rehearsal schedule all the way up to the performance.Be sure to start early enough to allow plenty of time to not only learn the dialog and music, but to rehearse the scenes, and to block and stage the musical in your actual performance space. You’ll also need time to build sets, rent (or make) costumes, gather props, etc. You’ll obviously have to allow down time for holidays like Thanksgiving.
2. When creating your rehearsal schedule, break up your rehearsals into scenes, or groups of scenes containing the same characters. Not everyone needs to rehearse at the same time. When we were rehearsing “The Gift’, we had Tuesday night rehearsals for selected scenes/characters and then other scenes/characters on Thursday night. The entire cast would come on Sunday afternoons to rehearse the ensemble music for an hour, then block their scenes onstage. No one had more than two rehearsals per week with only one of those being on a weeknight. Your amateur cast members have families, jobs and other responsibilities to juggle and will appreciate your organizational efforts which will maximize their learning with minimal rehearsal time.
3. After choosing your musical, you’ll need to audition and cast our show. You probably already have some idea of which person would be best for a certain role, but it’s always best to hold open auditions for all the parts and assign roles after you have auditioned everyone. A word about auditions: Have your people learn and sing a theater song for their audition, not a hymn or a contemporary Christian pop song. Musical theater songs are character driven and lyrically express emotion, longing or humor. server headers The songs themselves create a different type of mindset than a pop song or Contemporary Christian song, so having your auditionees sing a theater song will help you to see which singers can best express the emotion, longing or humor to make the song pay off in the show. If you have a great character actor who is only an average singer, consider casting him in a lead role anyway. Rex Harrison actually spoke many of his lyrics in “My Fair Lady” because he wasn’t a great singer, but his performance is considered a classic to this day. Whoever plays the part should be convincing.
4. Costumes can be improvised, rented or made, but whichever you choose, be sure to give yourself plenty of lead time to place your order or to have the costumes fitted and sewn.
5. Organize teams with a leader for such things as set building/painting, stage crew, lighting, sound, etc. People love to use their specific talents in these areas to contribute to the production.
At this point, you should be off and running, so your main job as director/producer is to keep all the groups and teams moving forward, making consistent and steady progress so they’ll be ready for the opening night performance.
Much more can be said (and hopefully will be in future posts) about each point above, but this initial overview of the process should at least give you some general direction.
If you need help or just have general questions, you can always call Church Musicals at (615) 330-0640 and we’ll be happy to assist in any way we can.