Staging/programming scenario

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Jon Majors, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. Jon Majors

    Jon Majors Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    I am the auditorium director at a high school. Our admin wants a Christmas show featuring our top performing bands, choirs, and some auditioned soloists/small groups. They wants lights, effects, funny, movement, everything you can imagine.

    Our stage isn't very deep so it's difficult to have more than 1 ensemble on stage at once, however in the past we have done a combined choir/band piece at the end (250 kids) on stage and it can work. How would you program a concert given the requests above? We can have a performance in front of the main curtain but space is limited, and you'd need to consider monitors if singing, setup time for a small combo.

    I would love any and all suggestions/recommendations. Has anyone tried a similar program at a school?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  2. macsound

    macsound Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    419
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Does the stage have a main curtain?
    Run it like a comedy event where an MC comes out on stage in front of the curtain, do 3 minutes of comedy while the choir lines up. Open the curtain and bam.
    Maybe have one large setup preset at the beginning, next group is smaller, then a vocal only group that allows a few songs to be sung while a larger setup is done behind the curtain, then intermission to reset the orchestra and repeat act 1's formula.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  3. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Occupation:
    Lighting Floor Tech
    Location:
    Phoenix, Az
    +1 for an MC or someone talking while you are rotating.

    Nothing makes a transition more painful than dead silence or a Blue stage with people shuffling around doing the transition for everyone to see. Plus the people on stage get super anxious and screw up something.

    As far as lighting it. If they said get creative pull out all the stops and let your creative juices flow.

    People love flash n trash.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  4. josh88

    josh88 Remarkably Tired. Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,088
    Likes Received:
    749
    Occupation:
    ATD and Sound Head
    Location:
    Ypsilanti, Michigan
    If your school has the capability and a projector/screen that could also be used.... try filming one of the bands. I do a couple of shows each year that are big combo shows where it will go from a hip hop dance, to a choir piece, to a ballet, then to a death metal band, then to the school band, and back to a dance for 2 hours. Changeovers for the bands specifically will bog you down. Unless you can leave the stuff on stage and patch it all and have bands share drums, guitars, etc, taking it all on, setting it, hoping everybody patched in right and then getting them off after a song just sucks.

    So to alleviate some of that if you have an a/v or film production class or kids who are learning video for something, film a music video of one of the groups. Kids won't get the "performing live" part of the show, but it gives a chance to showcase another class and their skills, gets the band a (hopefully) cool video and you can use that to buy yourself time and cover up another change over you might be doing on stage behind the video. Just something we've found useful as a fix to some of the struggles of trying to do such a "variety" show and still keep a tight show.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  5. Jon Majors

    Jon Majors Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    This is a great idea! However, some of the students that make up the jazz band would then make up a combo to back up a vocalist. While that is happening on stage, the concert band should be transitioning behind our main curtain. So many moving parts!
     
  6. Jon Majors

    Jon Majors Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    This is exactly what we did last year. We have groups perform in front of the main as "filler" while choir or concert band setup behind the curtain. It worked fine but we're very limited to what we can do in front of the curtain because of 1) space 2) lighting 3) monitors and setup
     
    Amiers likes this.
  7. Amiers

    Amiers Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.

    Messages:
    3,246
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Occupation:
    Lighting Floor Tech
    Location:
    Phoenix, Az
    Doesn’t need to be a whole production just something to fill the time. Doesn’t have to be the same person each time either you could mix it up.

    Hell you could even do a QnA from the people that were on stage while the next people set up. Being as they are talent they already know how to keep a crowd ( unless they are crap but hopefully not)
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  8. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    Likes Received:
    1,831
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @Amiers Possibly you could fill time with wet T-shirt contests; keep everything equal opportunity of course: Female and Male teachers AND female and male students. Possibly you could find a sponsor to supply the beer??
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    macsound and Amiers like this.
  9. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Custom Title Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    556
    Occupation:
    Facility Manager/TD
    Location:
    Space Coast, FL
    Down here in Florida we have a show called a Prism concert. I've understood it to be a concept invented at Florida State University, but they inherited a lot of things from Ohio State University, so who knows. Anyway, the concept is you have your big groups on stage, and your ensembles/solos/small groups peppered throughout the space in various locations. Wherever you can hit a spot with some lights usually works. Each group preps a 3ish minute piece and the transitions are quick and seamless. As one group finishes the next one begins in a different area. The concept is to get as many varied performances on in as short a time as possible. It also allows you to program it such that your main stage groups have enough time to transition while the audience attention is focused in the house, behind them, on the side, etc. It is a blast to run, and it's a fun concert to sit through since the changes are so quick. The trick is to be creative about your performance spots throughout the audience, without blocking egress, etc.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  10. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    Likes Received:
    1,831
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @StradivariusBone Have you ever worked any of David Copperfield's performances in which he not only walks out into aisles and performs slight of hand up close and personal but simultaneously has a camera focused tightly on his hands doing I-Mag at three locations to permit more of the audience to pay rapt attention to his hands? On several occasions, my assignment was to trot out with a mic stand and set it on one of three spike marks.
    I suspect I can mention how the spike marks were labelled without invoking the wrath of God.
    I placed the Mic Stand on the mark labelled "MS".
    Mr. Copperfield stood on the spike labelled "DC".
    "Mr. Copperfield invited the cutest nearby patron to stand the spike mark inscribed: "PT".
    God, in her infinite wisdom, WOULD smite me were I bold enough to reveal the true meaning of the spike identified as: "PT". ( @dvsDave would no doubt smite me as well.)
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    StradivariusBone likes this.
  11. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    822
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    My lawyer says I need to respect any non-disclosure agreements I have signed... but he also said once I'm dead it won't matter. I've prepared an "in the event of my death" envelope that contains all sorts of stuff I couldn't speak about in life (even to the point of being prohibited from saying I'd signed an NDA and can't talk). If anyone here is still around 20 years from now, it will be trip down Memory Lane should it happen to get posted.
     
  12. Jon Majors

    Jon Majors Member

    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    17
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN

    Our auditorium is very one-directional. Meaning, there isn't space in any area within the auditorium, besides the stage, to have a performer. The concept sounds great though. Do people mind having to turn around or break their neck to see a performance?
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  13. RonHebbard

    RonHebbard Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    Likes Received:
    1,831
    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario, Canada
    @Jon Majors What?? Neither room for nary a lap dancer nor scantily clad male firefighter??
    Sinful! Where were all the truly great theatre consultants when your theatre was conceived??
    Toodleoo!
    Ron Hebbard
     
    seanandkate likes this.
  14. TimMc

    TimMc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    822
    Likes Received:
    1,107
    They were having coffee and donuts with the IATSE crew in the old theater, and then died battling with the architect and general contractor. :whistle:
     
    JohnD and RonHebbard like this.
  15. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    Location:
    north central OK
    Do you have any aisles in the seating area? How about "surround sound" with a small marching band doing New Orleans street jazz? Could you get away with one or more singers downstage singing to backing tracks? If they can sing AND dance it will be like the A-list stars:).
    EDIT: Does your venue have a second traveler upstage of the main drape?
     
    StradivariusBone and RonHebbard like this.
  16. StradivariusBone

    StradivariusBone Custom Title Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    1,189
    Likes Received:
    556
    Occupation:
    Facility Manager/TD
    Location:
    Space Coast, FL
    I've often wondered how far-reaching it is. If you ever have the chance to catch FSU doing it (usually in December and a limited single run in the spring) it's highly recommended. Yes, there is some neck-craning involved, but it's expected and with the pieces being so short it's tolerable. Part of the fun is the timing and that another group starts halfway through the applause from the previous group's conclusion. We actually experimented with an IMAG setup one year, but it took away from the experience as opposed to enhancing it.
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  17. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    1,243
    Location:
    north central OK
    Things are worse in France, there a world famous architect plopped a stonking glass pyramid in front of the Louvre! (Yep I am also not naming the said architectural artiste but his name sort of sounds like a science fiction novel.)
     
    RonHebbard likes this.
  18. TheaterEd

    TheaterEd Renaissance Man Fight Leukemia

    Messages:
    1,233
    Likes Received:
    528
    Location:
    Near Milwaukee
    We generally use small ensembles, acappella groups, and soloists to cover transitions. Solo light the small group and have everyone transition quietly around them. For our winter concert, we have the madrigal choir stand on the floor and sing carols during transitions. Also, when we need to do full group numbers 250+ kids, we have them stand in the aisles.
     
    StradivariusBone and RonHebbard like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice