Hello to all our 2016-2017 Drama Club kiddos!
We hope you are enjoying your summer and making wonderful memories. We thought we’d write you to let you know that we are making our final plans for the upcoming drama club year, and we wanted to make sure we shared them with you, so you and your parents could make plans for next school year.
Last year we added a fall show to our schedule. Based upon the senior advanced theatre class at State High, Little Women was an on-stage project for our 8th graders. This gave the students an opportunity to experience some smaller, different types of musical theatre than is typically found in our large spring productions. Adding a second show gave us the opportunity to feature more of the 8th graders in various roles and get more experience as they prepared for their transition to high school. We also encouraged our 6th and 7th grade drama club members to become involved and to expand their horizons by helping backstage or with costumes.
Based upon the success of last year’s 8th grade show, we are happy to announce that we will once again be producing a show in the fall for our 8th graders. 6th and 7th grade drama club kiddos are encouraged to become part of the stage/costume crew once again.
We are making a few changes to the 8th grade program this year, however. As most of you know, Mr. Shaffer is going to be a dad for the first time, and his baby is due to be born in November. So, we needed to schedule the show to happen before the arrival of Little Shaffer. We also decided that it would be smart not to have to rely on Shaffer needing to conduct an orchestra, just in case he was suddenly unavailable. As a result, we decided to look at “junior” versions of shows. Junior versions of shows would allow us to be ready to perform with a much shorter rehearsal schedule, and would allow us to use pre-recorded accompaniment.
The coolest part of choosing a junior version of a show was that suddenly we were opened up to more options. Junior versions alter scripts and take out parts of a show that may be deemed inappropriate for a middle school cast. We had the ability to produce shows that we really wanted to see our kids too, but didn’t think would work in a middle school setting!
So, without further ado, we’d like to announce our 8th grade production: The Addams Family Young@Part®!
Here is some information on The Addams Family Young@Part®:
The Addams Family features an original story, and it’s every father’s nightmare. Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family – a man her parents have never met. And if that weren’t upsetting enough, Wednesday confides in her father and begs him not to tell her mother. Now, Gomez Addams must do something he’s never done before – keep a secret from his beloved wife, Morticia. Everything will change for the whole family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s ‘normal’ boyfriend and his parents.
The Addams Family Young@Part® is the authorized 65-70 minute edition of the Broadway musical for middle schools and youth theatres. Through a series of workshops with industry professionals and actual kids, the Young@Part® musicals are tailor-made for younger actors. Song keys are changed where needed, songs and scenes are edited for time and content, while keeping the spirit of the original Broadway show intact. There are great parts for girls, boys and can feature any size ensemble/chorus, who are featured throughout the show.
The Addams Family Young@Part® will be presented October 27, 28, and 29th.
Once we finish the fun with The Addams Family, we will shift our focus to our full spring production: Annie
Based on the popular comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie has become a worldwide phenomenon and was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The beloved book and score by Tony Award winners, Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, features some of the greatest musical theatre hits ever written, including "Tomorrow."
With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie charms everyone's hearts despite a next-to-nothing start in 1930s New York City. She is determined to find the parents who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City Orphanage that is run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other girls in the Orphanage, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of NYC. In adventure after fun-filled adventure, Annie foils Miss Hannigan's evil machinations... and even befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt! She finds a new home and family in billionaire, Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary, Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy.
Annie is the perfect family-friendly musical and an ideal show for a largely female cast. The curtain rises on Annie February 23 – 25, 2018!
Following Annie, we will jump right into our Student Director Showcase! For those of you unfamiliar, the Showcase event was designed to educate drama club members on the creative and organizational processes involved in bringing a show to life on stage. Eighth grade drama club members will submit proposals for a musical number or a scene from a play they would like to direct for the Showcase. Once their proposals are reviewed and approved, auditions will be held and the student-directors, under the guidance of the drama club co-advisors, will cast their production numbers. The student-directors will then stage their numbers, and work with student costumers and prop teams and run their own rehearsals.
We do not yet have a date set for the Showcase. We need to wait until the concert/field trip schedule is set. But we hope to have something soon!
And of course, we will have our NYC field trip in the spring, too!
As you can see, we are really excited about all the fantastic opportunities for Drama Club this year. We feel so lucky to be a part of a school district and a community that supports and values the performing arts as much as we do. Thank you to all the parents/guardians who provide the wind for our sails!
We are listing important dates, so you can have as advanced notice as possible for all the activity for this year. As always, please remember that you can choose to be as involved as you wish. You do not have to be a part of all the productions, and you are welcome to join anytime. We do ask that you make every effort to attend our drama club meetings, and that if you do commit to a production, you commit to the rehearsal and performance schedule as well. Lack of participation does not hurt your chances in casting. Lack of commitment does.
We miss you all! Enjoy the rest of your summer, and we’ll see you September 5th!
Kat and Mr. Shaffer
Tuesday, September 5, 3:30 to 5:00: First Drama Club Meeting
Tuesday, September 5, 5:00 to 6:30: Addams Family Audition Workshop #1 (attend only one)
Thursday, September 7, 5:30 to 7:00: Addams Family Audition Workshop #2 (attend only one)
Thursday, September 7, 7:00 to 8:30: Addams Family Audition Workshop #3 (attend only one)
Monday, September 11, 3:30 to 6:30: Addams Family Auditions
Tuesday, September 12, 3:30 to 6:30: Addams Family Auditions
Thursday, September 14, 5:30 to 7:30: Addams Family Callbacks (if necessary)
Saturday, September 16 10:00 to 3:00: First set workshop
Monday, September 18, 3:30 to 7:30: Addams Family Rehearsals begin
Rehearsals will take place from 3:30 to 7:30 on Mondays and Tuesdays, and 5:30 to 8:30 on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Some Wednesday evenings will be used for set workshops. Beginning in October, Monday and Tuesday rehearsals will extend from 3:30 to 8:30/9:00 and Thursdays will change to 5:30 to 9:00. Tech week will run 3:30 to 9:30 all week.
Friday, October 27: Opening Night!
Saturday, October 28: Saturday evening performance
Sunday, October 29: Matinee performance and strike
Week of October 30: Annie Audition Workshops
Week of November 6: Annie Auditions
Week of November 13: Annie rehearsals begin
Friday, February 23: Annie’s Opening Night