Author Topic: SHOWS: Oliver! Tips and set suggestions. Please.  (Read 2815 times)

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SHOWS: Oliver! Tips and set suggestions. Please.
« on: Feb 13, 2007, 05:51 pm »
We are looking at doing Oliver! for our spring musical. I am somewhat aquainted with being an audience member to this show, but i was wondering if any of you had any backstage or production suggestions i should know about. Also staging. We have limited real estate backstage at our venue so do you have any hints for getting all those sets hidden backstage.

Please and thank you.
« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 12:09 am by PSMKay »


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Re: Oliver! Tips and set suggestions. Please.
« Reply #1 on: Feb 13, 2007, 11:02 pm »
The most important thing you need for Oliver! is a kid wrangler - NOT your asm, NOT you, but a responsible parent (or group of parents) and/or someone whose only gig is to keep the kids occupied offstage and make sure they are findable and ready when you need them.

As to sets and the like, well, that's something your designer shd deal with. Ours were minimal at best, given the fact that we had no wings and almost no backstage - it was mostly done by suggestion with curtains and some interesting use of props and design elements that pulled out or pushed back. So I can't help you there.


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Re: Oliver! Tips and set suggestions. Please.
« Reply #2 on: Feb 17, 2007, 05:06 pm »
I did Oliver! in the round at NSMT, so while there was a set there were no huge set changes aside from one lift change. Light changes and a few key pieces assisted with the changes in location.

One thing you will absolutely positively need is a kiddie wrangler. I can't emphasis this enough! I don't think it should be a parent--they tend to favor their own and I don't necessarily like having the parents with the kids backstage during performances. They tend to be distracting and, well, stage moms. It should be a PA who gets along with kids well and doesn't mind taking them from backstage to their next cue. It also helps to get someone who can tutor them and/or keep them occupied while staying in one place, like the greenroom, without wandering off. I've personally done it twice as a PA and they were good experiences, believe it or not.

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Re: Oliver! Tips and set suggestions. Please.
« Reply #3 on: Feb 17, 2007, 05:25 pm »
No matter what your set designer says - stay away from fake snow/snow machines. It is evil.

I have mounted it twice, both were quite different - the main problem we had the last time was too few fly bars, which lead to using some fancy rope work and stacking back cloths, which was a pain in the rear to fix before every show.

Someone for the kids is a must, as mentioned. As is making sure that there are activities for whilst they are off stage - preferably quiet ones. Depending on your cast, it may be a good opportunity for homework - so you may wish to send a note to parents mentioning that cast members should bring something to occupy their time whilst off stage, and suggest that school homework or a book would be ideal. I also went to the library at the start of the run and borrowed a bunch of books suitable for that age group. If you have the space/facilities, since most kids will be on set at the same time and off set at the same time, maybe you could set up a movie, even if the room is a fair distance from the space - you just need to have one adult with a 2-way radio in the room, and give them a call a few minutes before the entrance.


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