Thursdays on Theatre

Our production of 42nd Street opens tomorrow.  That marks the final opening night of the 2009-2010 season here at the theatre.  It is really amazing how it feels like we just started, and yet we have been at it for almost nine months.  As usual, the weeks leading up to this opening (like this week) have been completely chaotic.  I think by the time the curtain falls on Friday night and we head out to the opening night party I will have clocked more overtime hours than regular hours this week.  All things considered this is not a bad thing aside from the fact that I am amazingly tired and I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time with Ruth, who just had her wisdom teeth out and could use some TLC.

Even though things will really slow down after Friday, I think this is the time of year where it feels like things will go really fast.  There are a lot of things that are going to happen in the next month.  We of course will have the performances of the show, but we won’t have to be working on the next show (this is nice).  Ruth will be heading off to London for six weeks soon.  I have my photo workshop in Moab, then at some point I have to arrive on the East Coast in time for my sister’s college graduation (I still have to get a plane ticket).  After that I head off to camp where I will reconnect with Ruth.  It’ll all happen pretty fast, it is crazy.

The fun thing about winding down the season at the theatre is that we can start to look ahead to next season.  Next season we are taking on some big challenges and we are switching things up.  We will be producing eight shows instead of our usual seven.  There were a lot of factors that went into this decision.  First of all, we lost the rights to Spamalot on account of the fact that there will be a non-equity (AEA is the actor’s union) touring company in town for a three day engagement.  To me, this seems like the kind of thing that someone at the licensing company gets fired over.  I mean, we would make them a lot more money, but whatever.

So, in lieu of having that big name show to close our season, the powers that be decided that we would assume the risk of doing an eighth show as opposed to having to cut back on budgets and possibly salaries.  We won’t be getting raises (for the second year in a row) but we will get an extra 5-ish weeks of work.  In theory, the season that they have planned should be a pretty good seller, and I certainly can’t argue with the extra work as in those weeks I will make more money than summer camp.  One of the other ways that the theatre will save some money is that one of the shows will be a co-production with Indiana Repertory Theatre.

Hopefully by now you are wondering what the heck those eight shows we are planning to do will be.  Well, guess what, I am going to tell you.  Though I don’t think that the information officially goes public until tomorrow, I am sure that plenty of people know because most of our staff and crew can’t keep their mouths shut anyway.  So, here it is, the 2010-2011 season line up for the Pioneer Theatre Company:

  • Hamlet
  • Dracula (to play over Halloween)
  • White Christmas (to play during the Christmas season)
  • Black Comedy
  • In (a brand new play, this will be the first performance)
  • The Diary of Anne Frank (the co-pro with IRT)
  • Sunset Boulevard
  • Rent

So, I bet those of you who read my earlier post about possible shows are wondering why we are doing White Christmas when no one really wanted to do it.  There are two reasons for that.  One is that a Christmas show generally sells well at that time of year.  The second reason is that since we have added Rent to the season, we figure that we balance out the edgy show with the classic.  Hopefully all the theories are correct and we have some shows that sell!  It will really be interesting to start the season with a straight play in stead of a musical next season though!

All things considered, the coming season should prove to be a very fun season.  There are a lot of dark shows on the line-up, but they are good shows.  I really hope that Rent does well so that we can prove that we can sell the edgy shows in this demographic.  I also think that it will help bring in some younger audiences.

It also sounds like I will be taking on some additional responsibilities at the theatre next season as our resident sound designer is leaving.  I won’t be going into sound, but he did some other odd jobs like help manage our website and maintain some of our computers, like our ticketing server.  I am happy to take on these jobs, and there is a little kick in pay for it, so it should be good for everyone.  It will give me something to do on the days that I wonder what to do with myself.  Hopefully next season there won’t be many of those days on account of having more shows!

So that is where we are.  Winding down to the end of the season.  In general, things are looking good for next year, which is great.  If any of my readers happen to be in the SLC area next year, give a shout and I can see about getting you in to a show!






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