We’re baaaaaaaack!

It’s been a long time…

Man, have we been busy. I don’t really know where to begin. My last blog post was all the way back in December. Since then, a lot of things have happened, and in this post I’ll try to catch you up as best I can. Of course, I’m sure some things will be omitted, and other things won’t get the kind of detail they deserve. But in the interest of making the blog more current, I’ve got to start somewhere.

The cast has been set for Into the Woods!

It feels like such a long time ago when we had our auditions and callbacks for Into the Woods; the Spring Musical. But I wanted to take a moment to recognize the fact that so many people showed up for the auditions and it was overall a positive experience. And considering that casting is one of the most stressful and complicated tasks in my profession, we ended up with a phenomenal cast of extremely talented students. Hang on to your hats, folks! Into the Woods is coming, and it’s going to be a production to remember!

When Fourth Place Feels Like a Victory

Last month, Herndon HS took our talents to Patriot HS for the Sectional round of the VHSL Theatre Tournament. This year we took Anton Chekhov’s cutting and brilliant comedy, “The Wedding” to the tournament. The material I chose represented a high level of difficulty, and on top of the material itself, we staged the show with two student directors. But despite these obvious and important self-imposed challenges we nevertheless finished in fourth place (out of six schools that showed up that day). This finish was the highest Herndon HS has placed in the VHSL tournament in recent memory. While the fierce competitor in me rarely likes leaving any tournament without shiny hardware, I recognize how coming in fourth meant that we have firmly raised our level. In future years we may hold our heads high heading into competitions knowing that we have reversed a treng (hopefully for good).

A Week of Movement

This past week my students, the cast of Into the Woods, and I were fortunate enough to work with Natalia Fedorova. Natalia (known as “Natasha” to those who know her) is one of the more accomplished movement teachers in Europe. She was also my movement teacher for four years, and is a friend of mine. For those of you who are unfamiliar with “movement” as a subject or discipline within theatre or acting, it is simply the physical coordination of an actor’s primary instrument: the body. The week was spent jumping, spinning, stretching (mind and body), and in general pushing past preconceived boundaries into new territory. While the week went by way too quickly, I nevertheless feel a huge sense of pride and accomplishment that I successfully brought a new level of quality to my classroom by inviting Natasha. Considering how positive the experience was for all involved, I may have to make Natasha’s visit a yearly tradition.

Natasha working with the cast of Into the Woods for which she was hired to advise on stage movement.

Diving into The Summer Grand

Without giving away too many details, it has been officially announced that our 2018 Summer Grand production will be Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and I couldn’t be more excited. Last Summer’s production of “Willy Wonka” was an overwhelmingly positive experience, and we seek to continue that feeling this summer. I am so encouraged by the fact that so many people are returning this year, with some new faces as well. Even though July feels a long way off, our auditions are just around the corner.

Have you caught your breath yet?

I know that’s a lot of stuff to process. I will make an effort to update this blog more regularly as the Spring Musical ramps up in production. It’s going to be an incredible journey, and I can’t wait to share it with you!

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