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Fruitful Fall and Wonderful Winter

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted an update to the blog. The last time I shared updates on my life, it was the start of August; I was working at Camp Wakanda, The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (abridged) was only an idea, and there was not three feet of snow on the ground. Since then, a lot has changed, so let’s get everyone up to speed.

My fall started with me taking on a new responsibility: stage managing the Palace Theatre’s professional productions of Sister Act and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. This presented me a phenomenal opportunity to work with and learn from the Palace’s artistic director, Carl Rajotte. Carl runs tight and well-oiled machine. It was great to observe a director who has a different approach than myself, and I’ve already applied some of the techniques and methodologies to my own work.

Speaking of my own work, the fall brought a unique directorial endeavor with the students of Central High School. Due to several unfortunate circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to do our planned show, Romeo and Winifred: A Tragical Comedy in Two and a Half Acts. Instead, I worked with the students to create an original parody piece entitled Halftime: A Romeo and Juliet Story. The show was created through a series of guided improvisations. After taking some time to develop the characters and overall plot, the students would adlib each scene I laid out. We recorded the audio during the improv, discussed what worked and what didn’t, and repeated the exercise a few more times. From these recordings, I transcribed some dialog and filled in the gaps with my own writing to create our eventual script. The finished production gave the students distinct, original characters in a hilarious comedic parody. I would love for opportunities to create more work this way; I just need to find the right group of actors.

My other Shakespearean based comedic project was the Cue Zero Theatre Company production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) at the new Hatbox Theatre. This is a show I’ve wanted to direct since first seeing clips from it in British Lit during senior year of high school. This marked my return to the world of independent producing, and it was incredibly rewarding. I worked with three immensely talented individuals to create a fast paced, witty farce. I used every bit of my knowledge of physical comedy while experimenting in rehearsals. To make this show work, we had to choreograph some moments almost to the level of a dance number in a musical. Other sections required us to be relaxed and free as we had to play off the audience in the moment. For this show, on top of my usual directorial duties, I also handled all the fund raising, marketing, design work, technical direction, and management of the production. Our labors resulted in delighted audiences from all across the state. We broke box office records for the Hatbox, having the highest per-show ticket sale average for any production running three weeks or longer. Artistically and financially, the show could not have been a bigger success.

As winter approaches spring, I am currently working on Fame with the students of Central, which will be the biggest production during my time with the drama club, and am searching for my next big endeavor.

I almost forgot to mention,  Footloose and Fiddler on the Roof combined for 16 nominations at the New Hampshire Theatre Awards. While neither show took home any awards, Fooloose did have three categories in which we took home the distinction of being a top-three finalist: Best Music Direction, Best Chorography, and Best Supporting Actor. Congradulations to Amanda, Danielle, and Sean on the recognition of their hard work.

Thanks for reading!

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