Thursday, October 17, 2013

GUYS & DOLLS rockin’ the boat

Caryn Ott Hillman - COT for Teens Stage Director, Gallery 37
This fall semester we were blessed with many new students.  Was it due to the show GUYS AND DOLLS that we chose to do or has word gotten around that we are such a fun and creative class?  For whatever reason, we are over enrolled and Mr. Richard and I are elated!  I was thrilled to piece together a shorter script including even more cutesy 1940’s slang, like Sugar Lips, Doll Face and Cotton Tail.  It’s so over the top – it’s great fun!

     We are into our third week and we have already taught the music and choreography for three of the big chorus numbers – “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat,” “Luck Be a Lady,” and “Oldest Established.”  This is a feat!  These teens are really buckling down and putting their all into their work.  Doing a triple-threat show is really challenging especially when most of these teens signed up because they simply love music and singing…but now I am expecting them to be leaping, sashay-ing and knee popping at the same time.  I’ve got to say, after I teach the movement and then see them execute it on all the correct beats and add character to it – I literally HOOT and jump up and down! (They all laugh at me).  That feeling is why I LOVE teaching so much!!!!!

     Now, that being said, we have TONS to still accomplish.  Tristin Hall, one of our loyal seniors, has been chosen to be our intern.  She has stepped up by selecting and running theater games in class, artistically creating the backdrop for our set and found some fantastic examples of the style of the era. 

In addition to all of this, she is playing one of the lead gamblers, Nicely Nicely Johnson.  With her guidance, we are building and painting our own set and piecing together costumes from everyone’s closet. 


     Speaking of costumes, one of the greatest opportunities is working with Angela Morano– the hat design teacher for After School Matters.  I inquired if she and her group of teens could design the Hot Box headbands for our show girl number “Take Back Your Mink.”   This is an exciting collaboration of two ASM classes that utilizes each other’s talents.  With their totally one-of-a-kind headbands designed specifically for our six dancers, we will showcase their work on stage in full lights and glory.  I couldn’t be prouder of this example of how different groups can complement one another!

     What can I say?  This is going to be a great production with the hearts and souls of our teens portraying 1950 Rat Pack-type gamblers.  Until the final day of rehearsal, I am praying that “Luck Be A Lady” for us!

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