Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Playing to Performers' Strengths

Sarah Delaney is Queen of the Blues. That's Paul on harmonica.

Over the years the show has evolved from a directed improv show to a more structured one. So, while most of the material is improvised, we have an overall structure or run-down for the show. And we also have structure to some of the musical numbers. This helps us tell a better story and present material that plays to the strengths of each performer. For instance, our cast member, Paul Erskine, is amazing at singing improvised rock operas. He's also a gifted physical comic. So, we're creating a piece for him in the show that uses these skills. We're doing the same thing for Scott Keck, who is brilliant verbally, and Laura Derry who has a really beautiful voice and spunky energy on stage. We're still casting for one more female lead. It's been hard to find the right person. I need a gal who is a great improvisor and also has a great voice--a true soprano would be awesome.

Why Blog?

As we prepare for our sixth season of "How We First Met" in San Francisco, I thought it would be fun to blog the process of getting the show ready. HWFM is a different sort of theater show. We interview audience members live on stage and, using improvisation, create a full-length musical from their story. And since the show relies heavily on improvisation, you might think that it doesn't really require much in the way of rehearsal or preparation. But actually getting a show like this ready is just like preparing for a scripted show, just without the script!