With tickets on sale now, cast and crew members are eagerly working towards bump in and dress rehearsals, while spreading news of our musical in mid-January. Already word has circulated successfully enough to have a vast majority of our final show seats booked, which is very exciting news, and rewards the amazing hard work of our talented cast!
This season’s ‘Sweet Charity’ cast, at Holiday Actors, has been powering through rehearsals since late September. With quite a variance of age and impressive influx of ‘newbies’ in the production, cast and crew seem to be satisfying directorial objectives to a high standard. Completing a great deal of the choreography, blocking and songs before the beloved cast camp in early December, the guidance and vision of debut directors, and experienced ones alike, have led this year’s cast to a healthy condition before Christmas break.
However, this silly season has been an unconventional one of sorts due to our relocation of camp. After learning of some bad news, it was with heavy hearts the director’s would reveal camp would be conducted at Warrnambool College Auditorium instead of Brucknell Scout Camp. Despite being confronted by this disappointment, our cast and crew were able to have just as much fun, and do just as much work, over the camp weekend.
If we were to break tradition with location, we would be consistent with our new, colour co-ordinated groups – as opposed to the traditional Harry Potter themed dress up. Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Black teams were to become our refreshing innovation of the 2016/17 camp. Open to interpretation, these groups morphed in to ideas associated with their colour. Red became Red Things (from Dr Seuss), the ‘Jean pool’ for Blue group, ‘The Midnight Crusaders’ for Black group, Green team became ‘Team Mint’, and Yellow *****. Organised by our zestful Junior Committee (JC), day one activities saw us collect for warm ups and point-oriented games, before splitting into our groups for more. Regardless of the ability to gain points for wins, the group reward-system was also devised for production team members to award points to teams whom participated in helpful chores. This remained a factor of Red Team’s victory at the end of camp!
Amongst these camp festivities also lay time to do some dedicated practise and revision. The main focus of these rehearsals was the exuberant ‘Rhythm of Life’ dance, choreographed by our talented dance director – Emily Trigg. It would take both days to secure the foundation of, what is generally conceived to be, the biggest chorus number of the show. In addition to this, rehearsal time would be devoted to scene blocking and vocal direction for harmony revision. A lot of cast members were doing well to step up and have their scripts down by camp, as well as be able to confidently perform choreography and scenes. Time was also made to practise for our carolling sessions rolling up to Christmas.
Another feature of our Holiday Actors’ camp would be Red Faces Acts – a camp highlight for experienced cast members. This year, each group would perform their own act to the judges, as well as being encouraged to take the stage individually to win points for their team. Hosted by JC members Angela Kenna (President) and Maddie Solly, some very creative acts were devised, including a Dr Seuss inspired remake of ‘Mean Girls’’ Jingle Bell Rock, a group cover of Shrek’s ‘Allstar’ – which was a crowd favourite – and a performative, confessional-type drama delivered by the Midnight Crusaders. Solo acts consisted of sassy dance routines to beautiful ballads, with acoustic accompaniments, sung by the likes of Annabel Ziegeler, Aiden Morley and our overall winner of the Red Faces competition – Lyndon Hurley! These were followed by a creative ‘Directors’ edition of Billy Joel’s Piano Man that sealed the end of the first camp day.
We owe much of our gratitude, and energy on camp, to the lovely production/committee members and volunteering family members of cast, whom helped set us up with a great deal of food for breakfast, lunches and dinner!
Moving on from camp, the cast arrived at Sitzprobe weekend recently and managed to integrate quite successfully with the band, led by our gifted musical director, Nikki Nuske. Aspects of the show were really starting to fall in to place once we were able to combine the orchestra and on-stage action and continued to improve throughout the weekend. Small alterations and additions to choreography would be made, as well as more work on our harmonies and focus on stage. After a mid-weekend slump, Sunday afternoon was to be a massive highlight, performing two of our biggest chorus numbers, ‘Rhythm of Life’ and ‘Brass Band,’ to friends and family of the cast. The energy and success of this showcase was cause for a sense of accomplishment, and to be repeated at our final rehearsal before break. A massive thankyou to all of the visitors who were able to come along! The game of the cast is certainly enhanced when placed in front of an audience, which makes for an even more productive rehearsal.
Our Sweet Charity show will be suitable for the whole family and we hope that you can all come and see this incredible musical.