Monday, August 29, 2011

"O-Show?!" You Ask?

What is an O-Show? If you happen to be reading the 3Ps O-Show blog as well, perhaps you already know the answer. If not, get excited: the answer is awesome!

An Orientation Show (O-Show) is a performance that we put on for YOU, the freshmen, in ONE WEEK. That's right, not only do we put on a show just for you, but we have just ONE WEEK to do it!

Well. Perhaps that is a bit of an exaggeration. There was a lot that went on back before our week on campus to allow our show to run as smoothly as possible.


Theater at Tufts comes in two forms: department run or student run. In student theater, shows need to be proposed and then voted upon by the members of each group. Proposals happened all the way back in April. Directors pick a show that they would like to put on, fill up their production staffs with lots of talented people, and present the entire thing to the Torn Ticket II voting membership. This year, we had two proposals but neither of them passed. The resulting "Board Show" meant that the TT2 Board nominated a director, who then was given the opportunity to propose two shows. The membership voted on which one we would put on, and New York Fairy Tale* won!

Auditions, Callbacks, and Casting

Auditions vary from show to show. Sometimes a director wants to see a prepared monologue, and other times there will be sides posted from the show that actors need to prepare. With a musical, sometimes music from the show will be provided beforehand. Other times, the musical director
will ask to hear one ballad and one up-tempo song of the auditioner's choosing. Such was the case for New York Fairy Tale. Because of the all-music nature of the show, the musical audition was also the only opportunity for actors to show their acting as well as singing; song choice was important in showing the versatility of an actor, and how they might fit into the parts in our show.

We held callbacks shortly after auditions. We asked everyone who we called back to come at the same time, so that they could learn several songs from the show and we could see the duet "Fine" performed by every possible combination of singers.

Due to the linked nature of our O-Show and the 3P's O-Show, both directors discussed casting together to ensure that we didn't have any conflicts. Then, the final cast list was posted and emailed out.


Normally, a cast would have a read-through shortly after casting. In our case, where there isn't really any dialogue that is not sung or a part of a song, we had a "listen-through" instead. All four cast members got together with the director, stage manager, and the ASM (yours truly) to listen through the CD of the show.

Costume Fittings

Our costume designer measured each of the actors before they left for the summer, so that she could begin her work over the break and avoid any major costume emergencies in our very short rehearsal period.

Production Staff Meeting

The Production Staff (p-staff) met one time before we left for the summer. At this meeting, we covered a huge number of important topics: everything from the logistics of early move-in, to preliminary design presentations and potential problems. This was the first time that the p-staff all met together, though there will be many such meetings throughout our hectic week on campus and innumerable emails passed among this group between them all.

Over the Summer....

Designers completed their designs over the summer, so that everything can come together as quickly as possible now that we have returned to campus. We are ready to hit the ground running! As a freshman watching the O-Show last year, I remember being very impressed with the production and immediately assumed that the cast and crew must have spent the summer at school working on it. It was twice as exciting when I learned that it had all been put together in a week!

During the very long summer break, the actors are responsible for becoming familiar with the music. Unlike the process for a play, however, they are not required to be off-book upon returning. Quite the opposite, in fact-- a good amount of this week will be spent teaching the music so that we can get it as perfect as possible. According to my computer clock, I believe the first one-on-one music rehearsal began about 20 minutes ago. And so we have reached the end of the summer and made it up through the present. What ever might we do next?! Guess you'll just have to keep reading to find out!

*New York Fairy Tale is not the real title of the show- read the Welcome post to learn more

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