“So great to see stories of girls on the stage.”
“These girls seemed so real and what they were going through made a lot of sense.”
“The music was so fantastic and cohesive, it’s hard to believe they were written by so many composers.”
“The characters are so believable.”
These are some of the great things we heard about GIRLHOOD as it played at Bravo Performing Arts in Oak Park, IL. The audiences enthusiastically embraced the show and the students were so incredibly great. But there were some other things that I heard as well.
“The relationship between Morgan and Judy needs more development.”
“Violet’s monologues don’t play very well.”
“Some songs need stronger stories.”
“Is this the right number to end the first act?”
These were the comments that I needed to hear. You see, we are still developing the show. We needed to learn what worked and what didn’t work. What dialogue needed expanding, what songs needed cutting down, what characters needed more clarification.
This is where the amazing director, Tina Reynolds, came in. Even though there were three performances, she told her cast that they would be in rehearsal the next day after every show. First there would be a recap discussion between the creative team and the actors, then they would make small adjustments to the dialogue, re-focus the choreography, and revise the staging. Even though these were 10-13 year old actors, they bravely handled the challenge.
On the last day of performance, at rehearsal we discussed adding more dialogue for the character of Morgan. I looked at the young, but very talented actress, and said, “Is it OK, if we give you some different lines in your last number SPORTS?” She looked at me painfully and shook her head yes. Finally the director, said to her “You can do this, it’s only lines.” The young actress beamed “OK.”
And we were off.
What’s next for GIRLHOOD? Rewrites…..and I am in talks with two high schools to help develop the show further.