Thursday, June 17, 2004

The Mood Onstage vs. Off

Interesting reports from rehearsals:

"Ragtime" is a show that deals with some heavy issues and highly dramatic story lines. not to give too much away, but we're talking life and death stuff here.

And apparently the way this cast is relieving the tension created by working on such intense material on stage, is to engage in what might be called "hi-jinks" off stage. Apparently there's "a lot of joking and laughing at rehearsals." And intense, dark moods while running scenes "morph into a pandemonium of comedy acts when we break."

I think having a big cast really helps with that. You are always going to have a few "class clowns" in a cast of 50! Apparently our 'Coalhouse', James Iglehart, is one of the ring-leaders of the off-stage circus.

Small casts, on the other hand, have a harder time pulling out of it. Which sometimes isn't good. When I was in college we did "A Streetcar Named Desire." By the time we opened, the woman playing Blanche DuBois was going all Val Kilmer on us, asking to be called Blanche or Miss DuBois off stage too!

I think the "Ragtime" cast has a slightly healthier approach.

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