Saturday, April 23, 2011

It takes a Whole Village to Raise a Child ... and Put on a Drama Production

First of all Kate Potosky did an amazing job to pull together our production of "Little Shop of Horrors" despite what seemed to be an enormous amount of karma working against her. That said an equal amount of drive, friendships and hard work was definitely in her favour.

Let me give you a little history about this production. I knew from day one when I met Kate at the new staff orientation last August, she was sick and had been for a couple of days, but she managed to steal my ear for probably half an hour and we talked, ok I listened, about all the great possibilities for this year's drama production. I could feel the energy. I sensed what was was coming when she wasn't sick. Kate was going big. We are a small high school. 250 students. 26 teachers. She's Audrey 2 and was about to gobble up CIS.

Let's quickly run through the challenges. First, the rights, scripts and scores. Where to get that in Singapore ... of course New York City and Musical Theatre International. Never used them before, but they were very good. Scripts and scores arrived a healthy 6 weeks before the show was to hit the stage ... luckily we had the approval earlier. Enough said. We are in a new campus with a big hall, lights, speakers ... but none worked. This was discovered two months before showtime. OK, haul in the contractors, call maintenance to change lights, get Mr. Laflamme onto ordering the mics for next year's state of the art theater ... now.

Band, CD, Band, CD??? CD won out in the end.

Now sets ... this is not a black box show. You can see the set above with 4th generation Audrey in the middle. This is where the staff's respect for Kate came through loud and clear. She was able to garner support from high school teachers, middle school teachers and support staff, usually with a smile. Except maybe when Halim had to climb ladders.

But here's the kicker, two weeks before showtime, it was realized that four of her cast and crew had to be on a flight to Ladakh at 11:00pm on the last night of the show. Show ends at 9:30, 45 min to the airport. It was going to be tight. Again though, the staff banded together, checked the students in before the show began and had a taxi waiting immediately after. Not sure if you noticed the shortened intermission on Thursday?!?!?

A fantastic performance!

(Thanks to Mark Patton for the photos)

Cast, you can hold your heads high. You delivered an amazing show. I was asked at one of the intermissions, "Are you really only putting this on twice? Is there anyway you can do more shows? Is the press here?"

Crew, you made the show run flawlessly, from the lighting to the sound to the props and sets. Great work.

Staff, on behalf of Kate and myself, thanks for all your support both behind the scenes and in the audience.

And Kate, I won't be around to see the build-up to the production next year. But, I will definitely be back to see what you create for 2012. Thanks for all you hard work, late nights and dedication to our students.

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