DIRECTING A NEW GLOBE
Performing arts is a continuous improvement process for everyone involved, including the director. When I find a better way to do something I return to my documentation so I can use that lesson again in the future. Below are links to some of my documentation that you might find helpful. If you have detailed questions about a particular agenda, or if you have a suggestion that might be better, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
Johnmichael P. Monteith
Richard Carter has created an exceptional collection of original verse versions of some of Shakespeare's best comedies and tragedies. I have had enormous success with these scripts with productions involving students from 3rd to 8th grade and it makes the stories so much easier to grasp. Instead of spending time dealing with iambic pentameter nonsense you will have beautiful rhymed couplets. And for the thespian geeks, Mr. Carter even has different meter usage within the stanzas to give a similar poetic style that the Bard used.
Musicline School Musicals
MTI and Samuel French have some extraordinary productions, but they are not for tight budgets. Musicline has a collection of musicals that are wonderful and not particularly well known in the United States, which will potentially give your audience a completely new show. I have had success with thespians between 2nd and 8th grade, though most are ideally suited for elementary school productions. There is a youth theatre category for engaging those in middle school or above and a few of Craig Hawes' hilarious shows can work at a middle school level.
TIPS & TRICKS
The goal is the education process in the journey, not the destination. Tell everyone, including yourself, that we are going to make mistakes. No one can learn without them. Wherever possible, let students that have a spark of desire to try their hand in the artistic process. Get older students to return to your school to help with stage managing, choreography and direction. Grab choir, orchestra and band students to involve them in the show. Most importantly, allow what is created to be their own.
Perhaps the biggest tip for success I have learned is making the entire production process as organized as possible. Using shared spreadsheets (edit rights for anyone with the link) on Google Docs makes it easy for all of the parents to sign up to chaperone, fill in conflicts, be on a committee, budget and anything else that is needed. There are other tools out there but Google Docs is second to none in shared management of information and can work with whatever electronic device an individual is using. Create a group mailing list that all parents can use is also important to facilitate communication.