Performing Uncomfortable

Running a drama club is an interesting thing. Now, I don’t mean “interesting” in the regular sense that working in theatre might bring to mind…fun people…costumes…FAME BEYOND MEASURE! (I hope you read that in Robin William’s Genie Voice, because that’s how I wrote it.)

It’s interesting because it’s HARD, really really hard. Trying to find content to keep the kids going in an economical way without messing up your ethics … Trying to rehearse just enough to be great, but not so much they get bored with the material … Trying to find a venue that will let us perform that doesn’t break the bank … Trying to find an audience to fill said venue…it’s all hard.

Part of our vision is having our cast learn to “perform uncomfortable,” because it’s hard. “Performing Uncomfortable” means having an ensemble of kids perform when they are not in THEIR theatre but instead need to create a theatre where they are. It means having them perform when they don’t know the faces looking back at them from the audience. I have always felt that being able to keep going when everything is a little off is a necessary survival skill and it’s hard.

So how do we get there? How do I teach them this in a two-and-half hour, once-a-week class time?

I had an idea at the beginning of this whole thing. What if we didn’t worry too much about BIG shows right now? What if, instead, we sought out people outside of our immediate circle for our audience? What if we did street performance, or took a show to a children’s hospital, or a retirement community? What if we looked around and saw who needed a little cheering, and asked if we could play for them.

That would keep us performing uncomfortable, different venues, different stage dimensions, different audiences…and it would go a long way toward teaching my cast how to use their resources to bring a show. It might also help them to see all the ways that their gifts were meant to be shared with others.

That’s where the idea of our next show started. I’ve spent a lot of Christmases in retirement homes, singing carols and visiting. But I don’t think I’ve ever been to one for Valentine’s Day. So, what if we brought a little show to a retirement center for Valentine’s Day? It might be a fun something for the residents to do, or bring their sweetheart to. A place where my cast can perform and look into the eyes of people who don’t get out to the theatre very much. A show that my cast still must rehearse for, still has to plan sets and costumes and makeup and all of that for, and gets the chance to perform.

Thus, the Love Show was born. Right now, we have a date of Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 3:30pm to join with the dance company of a dear friend and perform a 30-minute show. You aren’t invited to this one. We have a very special, very exclusive audience who we hope to delight.

For myself, I hope it’s really hard, because it’s in the hard stuff that we learn who we are. Especially when we succeed right on through that hard stuff. <3 Ms. Stacey P.S. I know that the term "perform uncomfortable" is grammatically incorrect. I actually chose it on purpose. Now, if you find other things, those might be accidents or typos or just your run-of-the-mill ignorance on my part ... but that one? Yeah, you don't need to tell me. ;)

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