Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Honk Chronicles, Days One and Two

This shall be a chronicle of the historic production of Honk!, a musical take on the fable of the ugly duckling, which my wife and I are directing with a cast of children at the First United Methodist Church.

DAY ONE (Monday)

Five teenagers walked out after the first read-through of the play, yesterday. They were mortified at the prospect of appearing on stage with children younger than them. The first to announce she is quitting says, "I can't stand little kids."

She showed up at a theatre camp for children and was expecting to meet -- the Rockettes? Tyra Banks and the gals from The View? The original Broadway cast of Rent? No doubt, a case of misleading advertising.

We already understand that a great many teenagers suffer from an overdeveloped omigodala (which later develops into the amygdala) and so, omigooooood!!, they left. Five teens who had been cast in principal roles. In their joint interview on CNN, they cited artistic differences but wished the show every success.

The church's music director, and producer of the camp, proceeded to eat his own flesh.

By nightfall, after considering many options, the decision was made to go on with the show, and replace the departed brain trust with adults. Sarah and I are now IN the show. This means I will not get to see my own plays performed in Albuquerque on June 20, but this is the price we sometimes pay for greatness.

DAY TWO (today)

Music and dance rehearsals a little bit behind our ambitious schedule. There are members of the cast who think a box step is something you use to get packages off the top shelf.

Even so, these "little kids" are troupers, enduring long rehearsals without union breaks. Where some Equity actors would fold up into temperamental balls of dudgeon, the kids stay on the job with surprisingly little misbehavior.

A child no higher than my instep enquires about the rationale behind my casting choices.

Joe, the producer guy, nearly gets his hand severed when we move the stage platforms into the fellowship hall. He is having a tough week.

Our props mistress will be away for half our rehearsals and a dread feeling forms in my stomach that I'll be building props and painting scenery myself. I don't even have a scrap of muslin to my name.

Another eerie prophecy: lots of pizza dinners the next two weeks.


Donna said...

Well, I hope these teenagers said, "I can't stand little kids" straight to the little kids faces, while slapping them or some other sort of physical abuse. It seems only fitting.

Highly entertaining post!

molly said...

Fabulous blog. Love the work you guys are doing with the kids. Enjoy your pizza dinners!

Kelly said...

The link in your post won't work for me.

I'm still wondering what on earth those teens were expecting when they signed up for a children's theatre camp. Surely they didn't thing THEY were to be the children. Seems like that would have been even more insulting to them than working with younger kids.

Pfft. You're better off without them. Wish I could see your performance.

Ji Hyang said...