Our Story, Part Four: Producing AND Directing our First Show, “The Phantom of the Op’ry”

4 Mar

Our practice bloopers and funnies.  You can see my unusual home, since that’s where we practiced!  Yep, in my living room.  And kitchen.  And stairway.  And front yard!  Yes, I’m sure my neighbors thought we were nuts!  It was SUCH fun, though!

You may be noticing a theme here.

Acting on Stage:  Check!

Working Behind the Scenes (Costuming & Sets):  Check!

Working Behind the Scenes (Sets & Directing):  Check!

And Today, because all of the above surely isn’t enough…

Working Behind the Scenes doing Directing, Costuming, Makeup AND Producing… I mean, how hard can it be?

I’m going to admit something right off the bat.  I don’t work well with others.  Except my husband, that is.  He and I are the perfect team.  He’s great at those things I stink at, and I’m great at the things that he stinks at.  The mutual respect we have for each other helps:)

However, you really can’t put me with hardly any other adults and expect anything… pleasant to come out of it.  I did fine working with other creative people, the costumers, makeup people, etc.  But I am a control freak beyond measure, and I don’t like having to play by the rules in a creative sense.  I don’t live inside of a box and I don’t deal well with anyone who expects me to do things in a certain way.  So in reality, taking on more work actually ended up being a lot easier than banging my head against a wall trying to work with a person who is trying to control how I do things.

Soon after The Mad Adventures of Mr. Toad, a woman from our rather large homeschooling group asked me if I’d be willing to organize a talent show as a fundraiser for the homeschool group.  I immediately recoiled at the idea.  I don’t care for talent shows, dance recitals, vocal concerts.  I just don’t.  All of the randomness just bothers me.  I offered instead to do a play… that my husband and I would produce & direct.

She said, “Okay! What does that involve?”  I said I’d have to look into it.  I remember the first time I sent her a proposal for the costs.  Renting the theater, paying the fees for rights to use the material, etc.  It was a rather daunting sun to me… but they signed off on it, and I was raring to go.

The only thing I didn’t expect was that the kids in the group didn’t want to do it!  I had to seriously beg, borrow, plead and coerce these kids into it.  Few of them had ever been on stage before, and were far too intimidated to want to try.  I had my work cut out for me.

By the time it was all said and done, I had everyone gathered that we needed.  The show we chose to do was “The Phantom Of the Op’ry” through Pioneer Drama.  It was a random and bizarrely funny spoof of The Phantom Of the Opera.  I chose it because the actual Phantom of the Opera was coming to our town a few months later, and I knew the name would catch people’s attention.

We only had access to the theater for the day of opening night and through that weekend, which mean that we practiced… in my living room.  Yeah.  It was madness sometimes, but it was awesome.

This was an even better experience.  No fighting with the producer, I had free reign with the costumes, the songs were fun and we had a great choreographer helping with the dances… Man, that was an AWESOME experience.

And because the kids in that cast had SUCH a fantastic time, besides which, they impressed everyone with how well they did (you wouldn’t have guessed that most of the cast had never acted before!) that everyone was clamoring for more!  It was an amazing success as a fundraiser, as well, so the homeschool group was thrilled as well.  Everyone was happy, supportive and encouraging.  I was floating…

That led to me teaching a drama class at our homeschool co-op.  The kids learned a lot and came out of their shells and we were primed to do another play the following year…

Where, of course, I had to add one more job to my title.  I thought it was ridiculous to spend the money on play rights and scripts… so the next play, I wrote myself!

Stay Tuned for my first original play a Shakespearean Taming of the Shrew Twist on “Rapunzel’s Story” It was a hilarious play… but more on that next weekend...


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