Author Topic: PROMPT BOOK: Jesus Christ Superstar (no stage directions)  (Read 7233 times)

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Jill Young

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Hey guys,

 I'm currently working with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and like most SM's, I'm used to having my stage directions already in the score- however, Jesus is different. Jesus Christ Superstar does not have a score attacted to it, and thus, I'm working out of a vocal book. So, that's where you lot come in. I'm curious if anyone's done JCSS before, and how they've dealt with this problem. THANK YOU GINORMOUSLY.

« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 01:15 am by PSMKay »

Scott

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #1 on: Oct 12, 2007, 02:25 pm »
Hi Jill!

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your situation, but I think you'll find a lot of the stage managers here might have a different experience than you.  I'm personally not used to seeing or paying much attention to pre-printed stage directions (except in my pre-production sleuthing) -- hopefully, your stage director will be giving the stage directions which you will notate ("taking blocking").

Again, excuse me if I am misunderstanding your dilemma and good luck!

Hey guys,

 I'm currently working with JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, and like most SM's, I'm used to having my stage directions already in the score- however, Jesus is different. Jesus Christ Superstar does not have a score attacted to it, and thus, I'm working out of a vocal book. So, that's where you lot come in. I'm curious if anyone's done JCSS before, and how they've dealt with this problem. THANK YOU GINORMOUSLY.



Celeste_SM

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #2 on: Oct 12, 2007, 04:07 pm »
I've done JCS before, and I used the vocal book as my script.  I had access to the score as well, but I found it cleaner to take notes and call from the vocal book.  Like the poster above, I'm not sure if that's what you meant!  :)

Jessie_K

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #3 on: Oct 12, 2007, 06:25 pm »
I too have done JCS but I did have a score.  I put in the a 2 ring binder and put score of left side and blocking pages on the right side just like I do with straight plays.

I a curious why you don't have access to the score.  But maybe I am not understanding your question.

PSMKay

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #4 on: Oct 12, 2007, 07:53 pm »
Working with no stage directions at all can make it somewhat difficult to do your pre-production work - tougher to make preliminary prop lists, especially.  You'll have to take as many cues as you can from the dialog and lyrics themselves, and beyond that you'll just have to listen very closely in rehearsal and put together props lists and entrance/exit charts on the fly as things develop.

If you're worried about putting together a calling script where you can notate cues on particular beats of a phrase in a musical score, then I'd suggest talking to the Musical Director and obtaining his copy of the accompanist's score, provided that he/she has one.  Take a photocopy of that and work from it.  (Bear in mind that I've not done JCS before so I don't know if there IS an accompanist's score that also includes all the intermediary dialog.)

Jessie_K

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #5 on: Oct 12, 2007, 09:01 pm »
JCS is a sung-through musical so there is no intermediary dialog.

As far as obtaining a props list from the lyrics, there are a lot of hints in the words.  You could also watch a filmed version of the play and take note on what they used.  Don't copy the design, but you can get the idea of what might be needed.

In the case of JCS in particular, watch ANY story of Jesus' last few weeks and you can get the idea.  . . Need a cross, need a crown of thorns, need palms, need bag of 40 silver pieces

Mac Calder

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #6 on: Oct 12, 2007, 11:05 pm »
Nah! I did JCS with 35 plastic machine guns, no cross, and no crown of thorns. It was a very odd production, everything was slightly abstract, however it got rave reviews.

JCS (and most ALW musicals) have a large degree of interpretation available - although a lot of people tend to go with watching the movie and emulating (I found Really Usefull Group versions of the musical tend to be the most "accepted") - so the joy of it comes from doing the show with a director who has never watched the musical before.

Jill Young

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #7 on: Oct 13, 2007, 07:31 pm »
I just have a copy of the vocal book, and the piano accompanists score, and I'm currently calling out of the vocal book and writing my notes on the side in a 3 ring binder. I've just found it a little awkward not having the "security blanket" (ie character descriptions, prop lists, etc.) at the back of the book... I was interested in seeing how other people have delt with JCS, expecially because we're in the early stages of production and my ASM doesn't know left from right. Thank you!
« Last Edit: Oct 13, 2007, 07:37 pm by Jill Young »

MarcieA

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #8 on: Oct 14, 2007, 01:04 am »
Nah! I did JCS with 35 plastic machine guns,


That's not how it happened? ;D
Companions whom I loved and still love, tell them my song.

Jill Young

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #9 on: Oct 15, 2007, 01:04 pm »
I too have done JCS but I did have a score.  I put in the a 2 ring binder and put score of left side and blocking pages on the right side just like I do with straight plays.

I a curious why you don't have access to the score.  But maybe I am not understanding your question.

When you say you had a score... Do you mean you had an actual script? And not the vocal book?

Jessie_K

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #10 on: Oct 15, 2007, 04:32 pm »
No, just the vocal book.  Not a separate typed out script.

Celeste_SM

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Re: Jesus Christ Superstar
« Reply #11 on: Oct 16, 2007, 01:41 am »
I'm sure the wisers SMs here will correct me, but here are my definitions:
Score = full orchestra score
Vocal Book = vocal selections for each song with just the music for the singer
Libretto = text of the music

When I did JCS, I had all three.  I used the libretto for my notes and cues ultimately, although I started out using the score.  Even when I'm doing musical theater that includes a book, I don't usually get a prop list with the book.  :)  As for JCS, it's a show that can be done so many ways!  The key is to have plenty of communication with the director and designers to know what they have in mind, because you could need anything from er... 35 machine guns, to nothing but a wood bowl and  a couple of rags or really anything!  My production had a prop known as the "fist of love" (don't ask).  Talk to the artistic staff and see how they plan to cast and stage the show.  You need a Jesus, a Judas, a Mary, the disciples, and probably a "maid by the fire" and "soul sisters."  But there are tons of way to do the show and you risk doing a lot of planning for nothing if you don't talk to the staff first and see how they plan to interpret this show. 

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