Thursday, August 4, 2011

Annie Junior, day 2

Hello parents, and here we go!  Annie Junior is now in full swing!  We got so 
much done today, and it was such a pleasure to see the incredible talent you
have given Mary Kathryn and I to work with!!

When Mary Kathryn and I first got news of the camp's subject matter, we got
together and said to each other that we can't let this show be the "star
vehicle" that it tends to be. It is not fair to the kids. Though the character
of Annie carries the show as a "lead" it is not a "starring role". We concluded
that our version should add as many roles for everyone as possible, and I came
up with the idea of a semi-"concert version" of the show, where all cast members
are onstage the entire time. The actors will serve as Orphans, Servants,
Townspeople, and in some cases, the Statue of Liberty and other historic New
York City landmarks. Not an easy task when you have to get a show up in ten
days! But it could be done, and Mary Kathryn and I are dedicated to the piece
and to giving your child as much to do with the script that we have. I would
not want to have the job of rewriting these shows into their "Junior"
versions... how do you cut a script down and make it equal for everyone? You
just can't.

So, we learned today that acting is not just about the amount of lines that you
have! Non-verbal communication is just as important, if not more so, than
verbal. Think silent movies... how were they able to convey all their emotions
without sound?

But I digress...

At the start of the day, we worked on the choreography and musical staging for
the Overture, which gave all of the cast some extra character work to do, and
even some new characters they didn't know of! It is a four or five minute
movement piece that gets us into "depression era" New York and gives us some
background information as to where Sandy and Annie came from. (I'm not going to
spoil any surprises by telling you.)

We then worked music, and got tons done! We worked on "Hard Knock Life," "NYC,"
"Tomorrow reprise," "Maybe," "Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile" and we got a
head start on "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here." That is a lot of information to
cram into those young heads in a short amount of time. I think you will be
pleasantly surprised at the level of the voices that we have. It was very
exciting to hear these tunes that, even though you may get tired of them in the
next two weeks, came out sounding fantastic!

While Mary Kathryn was working music, I worked with some of the cast on blocking
(staging). We managed to get through several scenes, pages 72-73, 85-88, and
77-79. It is time consuming, and the kids were able to retain the information
and take direction! A director's dream! Thank you so much for having these
awesome kids!

On tomorrow's docket, I would like to get through "It's a Hard Knock Life"
choreography, and possibly get started on "NYC" as well. We will also review
everything we did today, in order to reinforce the work we did today.

On a side note, I know there are tons of question about costumes and props, and
I urge you to give me a few days to get a list together so you have the weekend
to go searching through your old clothes.

As far as scenery goes, if anyone knows of an inexpensive (VERY) way to get
posters made, I have some images of vintage postcards that I would like to get
blown up to use for part of our background. Unfortunately, my financial
situation does not allow for much. Any help would be appreciated.

So. Until next time, thanks again, and I hope this is useful for you. I will
try to get one of these daily reports out each day.

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