Spam a Little, SpamALOT!

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SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM!

We know.  We love Monty Python, too.

Since our auditions back in October, SCT’s halls have been filled with belly laughs, John Cleese imitations, and not a little bit of flatulence.  We’re happy to say that we’ve enjoyed every second of it!  When choosing our season, we quite literally “look on the bright side of life” to determine the reasons why we should produce a show.  Does it fulfill our mission to inspire, educate and entertain?  Does it provide new performance opportunities to artists in our community?  Does it have an inspiring message?

While “what happens in Camelot stays in Camelot” may not be the most inspirational quote you’ll see in your news feed this year, we believe that the over-arcing goal of Monty Python’s Spamalot is to bring joy and laughter to it’s audience.  From the French Taunter (“your mother was a hamster!”) to the Artists Formerly Known as the Knights Who Say “Ni!,” we hope you enjoy this farcical journey through the Middle Ages with King Arthur, and his Knights of the Very, Very Round Table.

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Play While You Wait! by Jenn Doubleday

   As the parent of a three-year-old and as someone who does children’s theatre for a living, it’s no surprise that I adore taking my little one to the theatre!  I love every part of bringing our daughter to SCT; the buttery popcorn at the concession stand, the booster seats for little bottoms, the joy on her face as the red velvet curtain opens to reveal…anything!  Yes, my girl and I enjoy everything about theatre-going…

   …except…

   …waiting for it to start.

   The build-up of excitement is almost unbearable.  The purple seats in this theatre have been her gateway to everyone from Shrek to Pinkalicious, from princess castles to flying cars, so she knows that something amazing is going to happen.

   Eventually. jamiecurtain

   As anyone who has taken their kids to a restaurant or on a road trip can attest, waiting for the grand event can be a challenge.  Which is why we at SCT have decided to try a few new things for this month’s ELEPHANT & PIGGIE’S WE ARE IN A PLAY, playing weekends September 25 – October 4.  While you wait for our perfect-for-preschool musical to begin, you can enjoy the sounds of kid-friendly dance music in our oh-so-colorful lobby.  (Is there a kid in Savannah who hasn’t made up a game jumping from one colored carpet square to another?)  After you purchase your tickets, you’ll receive two playbills; one for grownups filled with theatre information, upcoming events, and ads from our amazing sponsors, and another one just for kids!

   The kid’s program comes complete with crayons, coloring scenes, a make-your-own-comic-strip page for our budding authors, as well as Mad Lib’s for some pre-show giggles.  You can also get some great photos with our Elephant & Piggie cutouts in the lobby, or wait to have your photo with the cast at the end of the performance.  Just make sure you hashtag those photos with a big #iheartsct.

   If you’re the parent of a toddler or preschool student, and you’ve wondered if your kid is ready for their first visit to the theatre, the answer is YES.  Children are the main event at SCT, and we can’t wait for your kids to experience the joy of live theatre that is for kids and by kids.  So…

   …what are you waiting for?  Get those tickets today! 

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WHO WANTS A COOKIE?

     Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want a cookie? byrdcookies

     Especially if that cookie is one of Savannah’s famous Byrd Cookies, served up with some ice-cold milk and a side of glitter!

     This Saturday, following our first matinee of Goodnight Moon the Musical (yeah, you can click that link for tickets…we won’t mind), we’ll be hosting an intimate Cookie Party for our little guests!  After seeing the show, join the cast for a magical pajama party, which will include story time, crafts, face-painting, games and, of course, cookies!  Party guests will also have the chance to meet the characters of Goodnight Moon, learn a song from the show, and take plenty of silly photographs.

     Sponsored by our friends at the amazing Byrd Cookie Company, our cast and volunteers are really looking forward to sharing this Saturday with you.  So go ahead and reserve your tickets for one sweet afternoon!

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P-R-O-G-R-E-S-S, PROGRESS by Laura Keena

 

I am happy to say that our Teen Theatre production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee is well underway! No little feat, I can assure you!!

 

In the course of our tech week we have added  a litany of elements; costumes, microphones, additional props, lighting, the live orchestra…it can get pretty crazy. My hope is that from rehearsal to rehearsal our students can not only retain the new information but also continue to develop their performances as we get closer to opening night…which is tonight!

 

The audience participation element of this show has been a real work in progress. Our fearless tech crew have been drafted into service on that front, which has turned out to be a priceless asset. Having our techies stand in has given the cast a sense of control over a part of the show that had previously felt a little scary.

 

I must say, my favorite example of progress is, in spite of what has felt like a fast and furious schedule, these young actors are dedicated enough to put in the extra work to make this show extraordinary.

I really H-O-P-E everyone who knows these talented teens sees this show. I’m delighted and proud to say that there are some genuinely great performances to see this weekend. Don’t miss it!! May 15th & 16th @ 7pm, 17th @ 5pm, 18th @ 3pm.

The Commitment to Wear Tights, by Maggie Lee Hart

     It’s tech week and our Creative Dramatics II students are pepped up to share their work of Once Upon A Mattress, Jr for their friends and family this weekend.  The excitement that is felt within SCT’s walls will be focused on the last remaining elements of our production including; completion of set construction, lighting and sound design, and full runs of the show in costume!  So pull up your tights and put on your dancing shoes!

     What makes a production successful?  It is the organization and commitment by all people associated with creating the show.  This is true not only for SCT, but for any show being produced.  It takes every single person and student to understand the commitment they have agreed to when signing up to be involved with a show.  The absence of a cast member affects every single element of a production.  Many adjustments need to be made. New formations of a dance must be choreographed and the absentee’s lines and lyrics redistributed so the story may be told.  The microphone plot must be redone, and the scene change list revised. . But most importantly, the loss of their voice and energy within the ensemble can be felt within the morale of the cast.

     From the start of creating a production, our process consists of a group of artists who wish to create a unique and unified show.   SCT classes are offered to be a learning experience, and I hope we have illustrated how important every single person and every single role is in the success of production.  It is commitment as a whole that makes SCT glitter and glow.

     To see the outcome of this wonderful team-building process, visit us this weekend during one of our three public performances. Friday at 7pm, or Saturday and Sunday at 3pm, we will be at the theatre popping the popcorn and swirling the cotton candy, ready to delight and entertain!  Tickets can be purchased here or at the door and are $12-$15.  The memories are priceless.

Shall We Dance? by Jenn Doubleday

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___This card, given to me by the incomparable Mary-E Godfrey, holds a special place of honor on the wall above my desk.  I have seen these faces, and others like them, staring back at me at many a rehearsal.  This week’s recital rehearsals are no different!  Since January, my dance students and I have been learning and rehearsing on SCT’s incredible dance floor, complete with a mirrored wall, excellent sound system, and sprung marley floor.  But on recital week, everything changes!  They are now expected to do the same choreography on a slick, hardwood floor, under constantly changing lights, in itchy-tickly costumes, and without the benefit of a mirror.  All of this, and their teacher can’t even answer their one question.  What is this year’s theme? 

   Shall We Dance.  When I first approached this working title I was stumped.  In the past, SCT’s Dance for Musical Theatre showcases have been styled around many themes including Broadway, Hollywood, poetry, and most recently, holiday music.  However, Shall We Dance breaks the mold, sauntering in boldly without a theme; it might as well be titled Songs Ms. Jenn Likes. 

    Everyone thought this show would be ballroom dancing, but no!  Not enough boys to go around and my tall girls are really tired of pretending to be macho.  Then I chose songs about dancing, a few of which made the final cut (Land of 1,000 Dances and Music Box Dancer, for example).  Growing tired of the same “dance-even-when-you-don’t-feel-like-it” mantra, I sought yet another direction.  I decided to tackle a different dance style with each song; one country western (Some Days), one jive (C’mon Everybody), one lyrical (Let it Go), and so on.  As the weeks progressed, the playlist became more and more eclectic.

___At first I felt compelled to apologize for this blatant disregard of tradition, but then these amazing young people that I am blessed to call my students challenged me.  “Sometimes you’ve gotta dance to your own music,” they said.  And we do!  We created our own music for our homage to Stomp, and we choreographed a beautiful canon without any music at all and then found the perfect song to fit it (Life Uncommon).  We also threw in some of our favorite trend songs (Royals, anyone?) and some Cirque du Soleil for our newest addition, SCT’s Aerial Silk Artists.

___Once we stopped trying to limit ourselves to a certain genre, we became liberated to dance to our own beat.  These precious young dancers may not find a need for grande battements or pirouettes  in their grown-up lives, but they will always find the need to be bold.  This weekend, as you watch them fearlessly leap, twirl, and climb to new heights, I hope you will enjoy our eclectic mix of music and personalities, and I hope it will inspire you to dance to your own music.

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Once Upon a Mattress, by Maggie Lee Hart

     How fitting that The Savannah Children’s Theatre makes fairy tales come true, as we embark upon our Creative Dramatics II class production of Once Upon A Mattress, Jr!  Princess Winnefred’s main desire is to find her “Happily Ever After” and claim a prince who will love and accept her with all her perfect imperfections!  Along with a haughty Queen and a mute King, this musical was based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale The Princess and the Pea.

     Co-Directors, Mr. Christopher Blair and I, agreed to begin this session a little differently because of one notoriously comedic, red headed woman.  She made her Broadway debut as Princess Winnefred in 1959 and, thankfully, archives of her performance can be found online.  She also reappeared as Queen Aggravain in the 2005 TV Movie.  Who is this woman?

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1974 Broadway production of “Once Upon a Mattress.” Music by Mary Rogers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, Book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller & Marshall Barer.

     Why, the one and only, Carol Burnett, of course!  Her universal comedic timing still speaks to us, and spoke to the students as well.  By watching specific archived scenes and dance numbers, the students were able to understand the style of the production, along with the exaggerated emotion and physical mannerisms within each character.  The writing is witty with sharp remarks and quick comebacks. Physically, the show is very demanding, replete with dance numbers and physical comedy.  The Spanish Panic, which was the choice for our dance audition, is full of vigor and fun.  With a very upbeat tempo, the students have found joy in partner work, and the importance of breath support!

Our own Larken & Sir Harry!

Our own Larken & Sir Harry!

     While we have thoroughly enjoyed researching and exploring our characters, we have also found great benefit in utilizing SCT’s dance floor to observe our posture and dance formations.  The ability to view the full body while dancing is crucial in creating a look that lends towards the time period of this production.  The ladies are encouraged to extend their necks while walking in a smooth and proper manner, and the gentleman are encouraged to be “on-guard” with a strong stance showing their calf muscles and upper body strength.  This is a lot of fun for our girls-cast-as-boys to explore a more masculine demeanor within themselves.  Our boys are always outnumbered by our girls, but everyone seems to embrace this fact with enthusiasm and acceptance.

Don't be fooled! The young ladies you see on the right (stage left) are acting as Knights!

Don’t be fooled! The young ladies you see on the right (stage left) are acting as Knights!

     As is with all productions with SCT, it is imagination and creativity that brings these shows to life.  SCT productions build their success by all the volunteers, staff and encouraging parents who have given their children the opportunity to explore the art of theatre.  Thank you for all that you do in supporting our theatre.  This is a class show surely not to miss!

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     “Once Upon a Mattress, Jr.” opens Friday, May 9th at 7:00pm ,with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:00pm. Click here for tickets! 

Perfectly Pinkalicious, by Renee McMahon

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   Too many pink cupcakes will turn you pink!  But that’s okay at our Pinkalicious Party, where pink is perfect!  SCT will be celebrating with Pinkalicious and all her friends on Saturday, April 5th, following the 3pm performance of Pinkalicious the Musical.  Preparing for this special event has been a blast and has taken me back to a time when my own girls were pink-obsessed.  At this moment, my den is an explosion of pink.  I have gathered yards and yards of pink tulle, searched high and low for the perfect pink crafts, and discovered just how many foods can be dipped in “pink” white chocolate!

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Pinkalicious Marshmallows! YUM!

   Make sure to have your cameras ready as little party-goers learn The Cupcake Dance from members of the cast.  Then join them for cupcake decorating, snacks and lemonade, pink of course!  Children and parents may visit our many activity stations, including the Pink Beauty Parlor, the Candy Bar, The Wand & Crown Factory and more.  They will also have the opportunity to have their picture taken with the star of the show, Pinkalicious herself!

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Pretty in Pink Necklaces!

   Not dressed in pink?  No worries!  Little ones can borrow items from the costume dress-up trunk for photos.   If you have attended our character parties in the past, you know what special memories they can be.  Of course, after all the pink treats, you may just come down with a case of the dreaded Pinkitis.  No need to fear, for Dr. Wink will be on hand with a table full of green food, which we all know is the only cure!

Broccoli, Asparagus, and Spinach, oh my!

Broccoli, Asparagus, and Spinach, oh my!

   Now, if you will excuse me, I need to go finish the pink-chocolate-dipped topiary center pieces!  (Man, my job is fun!)  We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, but if you can’t make the party we hope you’ll come out to one of our other 5 performances.  Tutus optional.

CLICK FOR TICKETS!

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To Eat, or Not to Eat? by Carmel Grace Cowart

     To eat or not to eat? This is NEVER a question in my everyday life.  I love food!  However, if you are acting in a play in which you must eat while performing, this becomes a vitally important question.

     The stellar teen cast of our Junior Company comedy, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, are learning just how challenging it is to eat on stage and still deliver an earnest performance.  It is much harder than most people assume.  By tomorrow’s opening night (click here for tickets!), they will all have broken grandma’s rule about not speaking with your mouth full.

     In this particular show, set in nineteenth century England, there is an array of delicious snacks, including fresh cucumber sandwiches, tea cake, four varieties of english muffins, bread with butter, and of course, traditional english tea with milk and sugar; ALL of which is consumed onstage at one point or another.  (By the way, do you know how hard it is to find sugar cubes?!)

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Algy’s afternoon tea waiting on the prop table, ready to be devoured in Act I.

     There are two important factors for an actor to consider when developing how their character eats on stage.

1) Timing
Timing is everything.  In many plays with foodie scenes, like EARNEST, the writer includes humor and plot lines involving the food. This forces the actor to figure out how to, for example, devour an entire plate of cucumber sandwiches in less than five minutes so that the punch line is funny.  Do we succeed in EARNEST, you ask? Well, you’ll just have to come and see!

2) Amount
When an actor is deciding how to deliver lines while eating food in a scene, they must carefully consider how much to consume in each bite.  If they simply nibble away at the same muffin for twenty minutes, the scene may lose its’ intended humor andor the audience’s interest.  If they bite off more than they can chew, literally, then the audience may not understand the dialogue and lose part of the story.

All gone!

Intermission; all gone!

     Finding a unique balance of when and how much to eat, all the while feeding those details into the overarching theme of the play so that the audience enjoys the journey, is quite a challenge.  I must say though, it is a challenge that this cast has earnestly sought, and in my opinion, they have earnestly succeeded!

     I do hope that you will come see THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST.  You don’t want to miss this hilarious show.  I promise you, it is quite deliciously entertaining!

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Fridays, March 21 & 28 — 7pm
Saturdays, March 22 & 29 — 3pm
Sunday, March 23 & 30 — 3pm

Calling All Bunburyists, by Bailey Keith

     I’m going to go ahead and boldly state that The Importance of Being Earnest is the funniest show I have been in to date.  Not only is the show itself hilarious, but as a cast we have blast. (Rhyme quite possibly intentional.)  The play, by the legendary Oscar Wilde, is a satire on the social expectations of young adults in the Victorian era.  My favorite thing about the show is its power to transform a situation so gravely serious to the characters into something incredibly silly to the audience.  

     That is an attribute that I believe adequately reflects one of my favorite things about Savannah Children’s Theatre; the encouragement we get to be as silly as possible.  SCT is a place where children and adults alike can leave behind any pressures to be “normal,” because really, normal can get quite boring.  Savannah Children’s Theatre calls to Bunburyists of all shapes and sizes.  Don’t know what a Bunburyist is?  Come see Earnest March 21st-30th and find out!  (See what I did there?)

     Alright, I’ll give you some clues. You might be a Bunburyist if..

…you have make-believe relatives or friends. (Imaginary friends can always be trusted.)

…you’ve made up an alias for yourself. (Just in case.)

…your origin is a terminus. (Or your background is unusual.)

…you have an ‘irresistible fascination’ with glitter. (Our floor is covered in it.)

…you like to be immensely overdressed. (This could qualify as anyone who likes to play dress-up or occasionally wear ridiculous hats.)

The cast of "The Importance of Being Earnest," being quite, quite earnest.

The cast of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” being quite, quite earnest.

     If you, or someone you know, fits any of the above, we want you to know just one thing.

     WE THINK YOU’RE AWESOME.

     Savannah Children’s Theatre serves as a constant reminder of the importance of being you.   In addition to performance skills, SCT teaches us that being silly is okay, and being weird is just fine, and wearing 3-piece suits for no reason is kinda cool.  It doesn’t matter if you like bread and butter or teacake because variety is good.

   The word “earnest” means “sincere, heartfelt, and impassioned.”  I earnestly hope that you’ll buy a ticket to our little comedy, and that you’ll smile so broadly and laugh so loudly that you’ll text your friends to come see it with you a second time.  And I earnestly want you to come back and sign up for summer camp, or classes, or audition for a show.  Because no matter your baggage – small or large, with handles or without – SCT welcomes you.