Musical theatre workshops and productions

EDTA releases guide for reopening of school theatre programs!

There is a wonderful organization that I belong to, the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA.)  It is an international non-profit group that shares information with teachers, directors and others about many aspects of the theatre for school aged actors, directors, musicians, dancers, etc.

They run an annual festival that attracts thousands of participants.  At the festival classes are held, shows are performed, and workshops are given.  This year, of course, the festival was presented online.  But it was just as rich and valuable.  Maybe even more!

Many theatre teachers are struggling with how to create theatre during these difficult, crazy times.  In addition to the ideas shared in the online festival he EdTA has also put out a full brochure sharing information about how teachers and students can safely navigate for the upcoming school year.  Here are some creative responses to the situation:

Performance related:

  1. Students should rehearse and perform socially distant while wearing face shields.
  2. Whenever possible, a condensed 45-70 minute version of the show should be performed with no intermission.
  3. Singers in a pit will be in cubicles or face shields in the pit and will sing all the songs to performance tracks.
  4. Dances will be choreographed socially distant and with imagined partners, not live bodies, wearing masks.

Venue Related:

  1. Perform on stage with no audience and live stream the show in real time to every classroom, home or other place.
  2. Do a video-recording of the show in sections, edit the sections together and schedule a streaming performance at a later date.
  3. Setup an outdoor venue in a large parking lot and perform the show as a Drive-In.

I have had several teachers asking if I could create a show that could be rehearsed on their stage using the precautions described above and then videotaped for an audience.  Another challenge!  So, I decided to adapt THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN TOYS just for this purpose.

We were able to cut the show to 45 minutes, adjust the script so that there is no touching (social distance staging can be used).  And we revised the music so that almost all of the songs are solos! So, I am thrilled to announce THE LAND OF FORGOTTEN TOYS  – virtual version! A Christmas family musical to help us remember that we are not alone, that we all feel like a misfit until we find our place in the world, and that we can all do important things right where we are!

Larry Little

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