Friday, September 30, 2011

The Nation's Crisis: Part VI

After searching for a room to rehearse in after school, we settled in the lovely 135 and went to work. Because of a delay earlier in the week, we rehearsed the Dude/Young Man scene for the first time today between Alex and Michael. Dana and Audrey went on a coffee run while Luc went over the intention of every line. Michael's character is supposed to be a tad bit creepy, and there is one point in the scene that both Young Man and Dude have to "build it up", meaning with every line it has to get more intense, louder, until they reach that arc and then it drops to a more conversational level. I, of course, wrote every thing down. An example of one of my notes? "spoon break". Because Michael gets to break three plastic spoons while stirring coffee in the break room.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

ITS & The Nation's Crisis: Part V

During theater large group today we crafted our monologues. We got into groups of 3 (A, B, & C) and rehearsed it just to our group. After that the A's went on stage and all did their monologues (at the same time), and then did the first sentence individually. B and C followed. My monologue is from my favorite play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard, and it's Guildenstern's monologue about the unicorn (theatre of the absurd).
Definition: monologue - a long speech by one actor in a play or movie, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast program.

After large group, which was the last mod of the day, Miss Fischer held a meeting of the officers of ITS. ITS stands for International Thespian Society, of which Westside High School has been a part of for a year. Our first induction ceremony was last October, and our second is this upcoming October. Starting off, you are what is called an apprentice. You receive points for what you contribute to the theatre program. I get 8 points for stage managing, main actors get 8 points, minor actors get 6 points, you get various amounts of points for ushering, concessions, even simply watching a show. Once you get 10 points you can be inducted, and pretty much every 10 points you get you move up a "star". At the moment I have 45 points, and I am a 3-star thespian. I am the junior officer this year, and we have three senior co-presidents: Dana, Alex and Luc. At the meeting we planned for the ceremony happening on the 11th.

Rehearsal today was in the Little Theater as usual and we rehearsed the Young Man/Woman scene as well as the Young Man/Intern Supervisor scene. Luc crafted every movement and line until he got what he pictured, which is exactly what he should be doing in the role of the director. I wrote everything down, which is my main job.

Monday, September 26, 2011

TBGS Part II & The Nation's Crisis: Part IV

Today during 80-minute theater 3 class Miss Fischer gave us three scenes to read; she broke up scenes for every small group. My class has 12 people: 10 girls, 2 guys; 10 actors, 2 stage managers (that's why we only have 3 scenes). They are: Hansel & Gretel, Devil's Grandmother, and Little Red.
As an added bonus, we found out today that the show will be performed in the auditorium!

After school we had the Little Theater reserved for Nation's Crisis rehearsal. Luc and I are attending every rehearsal and only Alex and Dana were called today, so it was just the four of us. We tentatively blocked the scenes between Young Man and Lady, since we don't have the "set" at school we just got the general idea. After the actors finish memorizing their lines we'll polish everything up, which is what tomorrow's rehearsal is for. And we were only a little bit off task ;)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon: Part I & The Nation's Crisis: Part III

Today during the last mod of school we have Theater 3 Large Group, a.k.a. when all of the thespians gather in the auditorium to be hilarious. We did actually get stuff done today: Miss Fischer, our wonderful drama teacher, informed us about our One Act Competition. She is cutting down our Theater 3 play, The Brothers Grimm Spectacualthon (now to be known as TBGS), to a thirty minute one act. We will perform it at Bellevue East High School and compete against 6 other schools - if we happen to win, we will perform at state in Kearney. The whole process will be a lot of work for me and my assistant, Audrey, but with that work comes fun and that's what I do theatre for, the experience.

After school for The Nation's Crisis we found an empty room to rehearse in and we played two games and then read through the play. The five main parts: Young Man - Alex Glow, Lady - Dana Cassling, Dude - Michael Keefe, Woman - Austin Brady, and Intern Supervisor - Amber Kischer. We didn't have Michael today, so I read the part of Dude.

The first game we played was for focus: we all stood in a circle and had two markers. We were silent, and we threw the markers around the circle and we repeated the order exactly. We did a different order with a second marker, but as that was happening we were getting off task and not focusing. We switched to throwing paperback dictionary's, but after that failure we found a regular ball. The second part of the game: we each said a character's name and then switched spots with them in the circle. For example, Luc would say, "Intern Supervisor" and would take Amber's spot. Then Amber would say, "Set Manager" and she would come to my spot. I said, "Woman" and took Austin's spot, followed by "Lady", "Young Man" and "Director". Then, after finally getting the rhythm for both parts we did them simultaneously and it ended up working better than any of us thought.

The second game we played was called 'What Are You Doing', in which you get into two lines of equal numbers and one person starts up front. The first person from the next line goes up and asks, "What are you doing?". The original person replies something like, "I am popping a balloon" and the second person has to do that action. The original person goes to the back of their line and the second person in that line goes up and asks, "What are you doing?" and the person popping the balloon says something else, and this goes on and on. It can be difficult for someone like me since I am not an actor, but I did participate and had fun.

Then we read through the play twice, the first time simply reading and the second time doing minor blocking.
Definition: Blockingdesign or plan the movements of actors on a stage or movie set.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Nation's Crisis: Part II

The second part of auditions for The Nation's Crisis were today after school. Luc (the actor who wrote the script and is directing the film) and I held mini-auditions for a couple of people who couldn't make it yesterday. After again doing the cold-readings we deliberated and came up with the cast list. Luc sent it out over email earlier this evening so the actors know which part they received or if they received a speaking part at all. All of the actors who didn't get a speaking part will be an extra in the film.


The Nation's Crisis: Part I

The movie I'm working on at the moment is an actor's senior project: he wrote the film himself and he's directing it. It's called the Nation's Crisis and it has five main characters, and then some extras. The first part of auditions were yesterday - we had the actors fill out a conflict sheet and have it signed by their parents and they came into the theatre room after school. They did a "cold read" audition: that's when they just get up on stage and read a part without rehearsing. Then the director, the camera person and I deliberated and we came up with the tentative cast list. However, there were a couple of people who couldn't make auditions yesterday so we're going to hold mini-auditions after school today.

I should also point out that this is not a normal thing for a stage manager, just an extra thing to do while I don't have a play to work on.



I have been involved in seven plays at my school, plus I have attended three theatre camps (about a week over the summer) and I am currently involved with being set manager for a short film.

The shows I have been involved in:

1) West Side Story - flyrail assistant
2) Proof - light board operator
3) Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead - SM
4) Our Town - light board operator
5) Not About Nightingales - SM
6) Much Ado About Nothing - SM
7) Antigone - SM

Also this year I will be stage manager for all of the plays. The next one is in December and it's The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon, and we'll hold auditions in October.
Musicals and Shakespeare plays switch off years - last year was Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare so we're in a musical year, and we're putting on The Who's Tommy. After that we're doing a night of student directed one-acts.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hello! My name is Lauren Akers, and I am currently a junior at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. At my school, we have to do a thing called senior project. I'm getting a head-start on mine and I am starting this theatre blog - all about stage managing. You see, I am head stage manager of our theatre department and I want to blog about being an SM (stage-manager - I will abbreviate this often) at auditions, rehearsals, dress rehearsals, and shows - all to show you what it's really like being a stage manager. I hope you find it helpful and insightful!