Backstage: You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised) at Springfield CommunityBy Laura & Mike Clark • Jan 25th, 2007 • Category: You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
Listen to the ShowBizRadio Backstage #1 for January 22, 2007 [MP3 4:23 1.3MB].
Laura: One of the things we wanted to do this year was to try to shadow a local theater company from the audition process all the way through to opening night. We got in contact with the Springfield Community Theatre over in Annandale, Virginia. We are shadowing the process of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Revised).
Mike: You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown is a wonderful show. It’s a lot of fun and it’s also the most popular show performed in the DC Metro area. We’ve made a cross-reference listing of all the different shows in the area and by far the most popular show is You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. That was exciting to be a part of that. Our original plan was to attend all the auditions and then kind of sit in as a fly on the wall with the director and the producer and other crew. Sit in on the rehearsals and just see how it works. Usually there’s anywhere from four to eight weeks between the auditions and the opening night.
We talked with Anita Gardiner. She’s the producer and also the President of Springfield Community Theatre. She agreed that we could come and shadow the process. We were given a calendar. It turns out that the auditions started January 8th for three different nights that week. Those were the three nights that we couldn’t do. So we weren’t able to go to any of the auditions. I did attend the read through with the full cast and the director. The director is Donald Neal. That Saturday afternoon we all met together. They read through the whole script. There wasn’t any singing then, we just read through the songs and lines. It was a lot of fun.
I know the show pretty well. I’ve seen it a couple times now. And we do have the soundtrack of the original production on our Internet radio station so you can listen to that to hear some of the songs. At the read through, Don gave some basic directions. He told the cast to stay healthy, to start learning their lines. Rehearsals would start two nights a week.
Laura: Saturday we went to the rehearsal and they were doing mostly the music and the singing. That was fun to listen to. After the rehearsal ended we had a production meeting and Mike and I sat in on that. Got to hear all of the behind the scenes stuff that was going on. The set design and the set painting and props and everything. That was really fascinating to sit in on that and learn about all the behind the scenes stuff that’s behind the scenes that needs to go on to making a show.
Mike: Don Neal shed some of his vision for how some of the different parts of the show would come together. We also met some of the different designers that would be working on the show. The musical director is Mims Vander Linden. Elaine Topodias will be the choreographer. We met the lighting designer Chris Hardy, the lighting technician is Robert Timmerman. And the set construction will be done by Charlie Brown.
Laura: That’s not a typo.
Mike: I thought that was a typo, but his name really is Charlie Brown. We met the set painting assistant Eileen Ferraro. Everybody is very excited about the project. The opening night is on February 23rd so we just have a month to go to see this all come together.
Laura: So we will be bringing you more podcasts throughout the next few weeks as we shadow this process. We hope to pass on interesting information to you and look forward to seeing you at the show.
Mike: We will be doing interviews with as many of the cast and crew as we can so you can get to know them a little bit better. Ask them how they do the real work. What strategies they have for learning lines and learning the music.
Laura: We also have taken some photos of the rehearsals, so I encourage you to go check those out.
Mike: If you have any questions that you would like us to ask the cast or the crew about the show, just send us an email or a comment and we will do that.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/1846.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.