Up and at ’em this morning and have to keep it short and sweet! And how sweet it is! Ordinarily, this non-stop marathon of auditions for Season Five might normally by anyone be considered “buried in work.” But there are too many bright spots in our work for it to feel ordinary or buried at all! It’s all quite extraordinary! When given the opportunity, actors are coming in singing and reading at a level that fills The North Island Center rehearsal hall with light and music and moments of discovery in themselves that is a distinct privilege to attend. Yesterday, I couldn’t help think Rodgers and Hammerstein were above, aglow with the remarkable voices raised to the heavens and their wondrous tradition being sustained from their first work together from 1943 on Broadway in Oklahoma!. Here we are, 72 years later preparing to cast one of their masterworks, as we watch the best of the best walk in and rise to what is still challenging musical theatre artists with its technical and emotional range. It is still kicking butt, and it is thrilling to watch what it draws out of the astonishing talent in the room!
Last week, A Christmas Story Director Nick Bowling drew performances from scores of youngsters that delighted them, and us, in how they seemed to surprise themselves with what they could accomplish with just a few words of coaching. Choreographer Rhett Guter created a tap dance for the boys and girls that got them syncopating rhythms ringing right into our hearts. And the look on their faces as they sing, (no, Broadway belt!) “Somewhere Hovering Over Indiana” restlessly anticipating the arrival of Santa…these little kids with big voices…lump in the throat, anyone?
This morning, West Side Story resumes its calls with more dancing and singing as does Hairspray later this week. I write here, so grateful, dear reader, for the distinct privilege to share with you just a bit of an insight into these proceedings. It is my privilege as well, to be working with all of the talented actors in the room, discovering the intricacies of these popular stories as we grow together with each production team almost startled at the timeless beauty in the scenes and music. There is so much joy, and we do laugh a lot as well! I’d be exhausted if I wasn’t so excited and inspired!
Yes, with all my love & thanks,