We’re ramping up to auditions again, this time for a production of Geek! by Crystal Skillman. It’s an interesting take on Dante’s inferno where two girls navigate the levels of Hell, portrayed as the floors of a hotel at an anime convention.
Initially, I would rather have gone with our original consideration for the spring, Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. I had my sights set on a rather spectacular set and some music we had discussed and even approached the artist about using at some point. But I was quickly convinced that this is a fitting and compelling choice for us for a lot of reasons. One is a smaller cast, though we are considering breaking up some of the ensemble roles so that we can include more actors. While I love my theater family, I’m still very tired from the last production, and fewer actors generally means fewer scheduling issues and fewer conflicts. It also means a closer relationship between all of the actors (rather than just groups of actors), which makes for a great show.
Another is marketing. We’re still learning how to market our productions effectively. This time we’re aiming for a younger crowd, to show them what Decatur has to offer and grow our regular audience. It should be fun, too, as we plan to offer discounts to encourage the audience to come in cosplay, and I hope to work with a local restaurant or two to cross-promote.
This one also comes with a simpler, modular set, which I’m excited about. Assuming, of course, that the sets are cooperative when they need to be moved, they are my favorites to work with. The aesthetic is simple and uncluttered, and our audiences have told us that they enjoy watching us remake the space in a few minutes. Sometimes we throw in a little entertainment there, too.
An especially intriguing aspect of this play is videos of the main characters that are shown at different points throughout the show. Basically, they are home videos that the characters created that function as flashbacks. We don’t often work with video, so it’s good that they are supposed to look like home videos. We don’t have to find someone to professionally shoot and edit.
We may even have some input from the playwright, as our director has contacted her. So far, we’ve only had incredibly positive experiences with meeting our playwrights and translators, and given the collaborative nature of theater, it’s always exciting to meet the person who created the show’s foundation.
Last semester was great, but it was rough. Still, even though it’s made me tired and a little wary of unexpected challenges, I’m ready to get back into the theater and make something new. And, despite my early hesitation, I’m inspired and eager to see what this show becomes.