Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Costume fittings... and more!

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On Monday, December 15, the cast of Grease had their last music rehearsal before Winter Break, and took measurements for the costumes. We ran through all the songs in the musical with Dr. Wu and Dr. Davis. It was great to see the music aspect of Grease taking its shape. The stage managers and Sam called us out during the rehearsal to measure us for the costumes. A shout out to the costume crew, can't wait to see our beautiful costumes! We are yet one more step closer our goal!  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Real Talk with Jeff

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Howdy everyone! Welcome to the first Real Talk with Jeff. I hope that over the course of the next few months, I’ll be able to show you what happens behind the curtains in Allen Theater.

Today, the cast of Grease worked on character development by playing a series of theater games. In the first exercise we participated in, we had to walk around the room while incorporating different elements of our characters into our bodies. The purpose was to do this without talking in order to really get a feel for what it’s like to be in someone else’s shoes.

However, as Mr. Howard says, the most important thing to remember when working on a character is not to focus on the similarities between oneself and that persona—that comes naturally. In fact, it is more constructive to focus on the differences that oneself and the character have. These nuances can be controlled through “switches, dials, and lenses.” “Switches” deal with obvious character differences, such as facial expressions or voice differences. “Dials”, on the other hand, deal more with the intensity/ level of a character’s personality, a level that can be adjusted accordingly. Finally, “lenses” deal with the various outlooks that characters may have on a particular person or event. When incorporating these three elements into acting, it helps bring out honesty in characters.

So now that we’ve participated in these helpful exercises, it’s now time to fully develop our characters over winter break. Until next time!

-Jeff Erazo

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Summer Lovin

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Today was a great day to be in the theater. The whole cast worked together to block the scenes leading up to "Summer Lovin'" where Danny unexpectedly sees Sandy at school. With every member of the show present, it really began to feel like the characters were coming alive.

After a long but productive (and fun) rehearsal, it was great to celebrate the birthdays of two of our cast members: Alyssa Cass and Maggie Zhu, a great way to kick off the week! Happy birthday Alyssa and Maggie!

-Tucker Donelan

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sneak Peak: "We Go Together" Choreography

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Hi everyone! Before heading off for Thanksgiving Break, the cast of Grease decided to end their week with a few dance moves choreographed by our dance instructor, Rizzo. Take a quick look at what we have so far! Happy Thanksgiving!

-Jeff Erazo

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Read Through!

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Now that auditions for Grease finally are over, it’s time for us to take a sigh of relief. We began our first official rehearsal—the read through—by eating cake! This is one of the special traditions we have in Allen; whenever we read a new script for the first time, we celebrate by stuffing our faces with this yummy treat. However, we still have a long way to go before Opening Night.

As we sat around the stage and read our parts out loud, a thought hit me—Berkshire Theater has grown so much! As of now, we have about 30 people, adults and students, working on this performance. By far, it’s the largest show I will be working on, considering that just a few years ago, I was in a show with eight people.

It’s evident that Berkshire Theater has expanded into everyday life at Berkshire. I had many people come up to me and express how excited they were to see Grease in a few months. And so am I. For many of us, this will be our last musical at school. But for now, we’ll stay present and make this the best musical this school has seen!

 -Jeff Erazo

Sunday, November 16, 2014

And our Winter Musical is...

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Hello everyone! Welcome to another season of Berkshire School Theater! While many people aren’t looking forward to months of snow and freezing New England temperatures, we plan to bring fun and sunshine into these next few months. Get ready, because our winter musical is Grease.

Grease is the story of Danny Zuko and Sandy Dumbrowski, two high school seniors who fall in love over the summer. They have a summer of fun at the beach and are sad to see it end. When the first day of school arrives, Danny and Sandy are unknowingly reunited. But Sandy is shocked to find the nice guy she met at the beach is the leader of a greaser gang. Meanwhile Sandy is trying to fit in with her new friends "The Pink Ladies" and Danny is trying to stay cool with his gang "The Burger Palace Boys." Will Sandy and Danny ever be together again?

After three days of auditions-monologues, singling, dancing, and callbacks—the cast of Grease has finally been decided upon. While many past Berkshire Theater actors will be in this performance, we are also very excited to have new some new Greasers join the crew. Congratulations to everyone who made the show and get ready for our next adventure! Show will take place mid February 19-21, so mark your calendars! 

-Jeff Erazo