Author Topic: PRODUCING: Simultaneous Shows ?!?  (Read 2850 times)

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PRODUCING: Simultaneous Shows ?!?
« on: Jul 02, 2016, 12:28 pm »
Dear Fellow SMs:

I will be SMing a show this winter that is either going to be the most fun show to run ever, or it will literally kill me- either way I'm excited for it. I'm hoping maybe somebody out there has done something similar before and will let me pick your brain about it.

We are doing 2 shows with the same cast simultaneously. Not in rep. Literally at the same time. 2 related plays in connecting theaters with the same cast in each show, performing at the same time. So an actor would leave the stage in one show, go up (or down) a flight of stairs, and enter a scene in the other show.

When I have described the concept, several people have said "Oh, like House and Garden!" which I have never done/seen/read- if anybody has done House and Garden, any tips? Are there any other shows out there like this, that are meant to be performed simultaneously?

I am the PSM of one of the 2 shows, there is another PSM on the other, as well as 1 ASM apiece and 1 shared intern/PA. One of the plays (not the one I'm doing) is an already existing work- my show is a new play starring the minor characters of the other show- sort of like doing Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead at the same time. The playwright is writing in a bunch of conventions to assist in the concept (there's a TV on stage that is showing the other show, for example) and there has already been discussion of some sort of cuing system so that I can tell an actor "get offstage you're needed in the other play!"

Thoughts? Anybody done anything like this before?

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth
« Last Edit: Jul 14, 2016, 11:52 am by Maribeth »
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Re: Simultaneous Shows ?!?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 02, 2016, 02:21 pm »
Wow. This...
I've no advice for you, but PLEASE keep up appraised how the process works out!
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Re: Simultaneous Shows ?!?
« Reply #2 on: Jul 02, 2016, 07:29 pm »
Sounds fascinating, Bex. Tech will probably be an interesting challenge- lots of collaboration with the other SM team, timings of entrances and exits etc.

Would also be interesting to see what kind of "wiggle room" you have is someone is running late for an entrance- is there added dialogue, permission to adlib, etc.

Are there 2 directors? Would also be a very collaborative work for them, making their plays fit with what the other is doing.


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Re: Simultaneous Shows ?!?
« Reply #3 on: Jul 02, 2016, 08:43 pm »
Fefu and Friends is sort of like this as well - everyone is together for act 1; and then you split up and watch four scenes in different order - but all interconnected - and then everyone comes together.

You need to keep very accurate timelines, time the journey from one space to the next space, and make sure you have communication to the other show.  The details are going to be in how the two shows married. 

You will most likely tech one, tech the other and then tech both together - so make sure you have enough tech time to make sure they blend together.
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Re: Simultaneous Shows ?!?
« Reply #4 on: Jul 03, 2016, 01:12 pm »
Simultaneous shows are difficult enough to coordinate when they were written to go together, have already been produced elsewhere, and have proved to be possible. It sounds like you are working on new shows, that have never been done before. This is going to make the process much harder, as rewrites and business are added or cut, for the sake of bettering the content and drama of each of the separate pieces. The plays have to be good plays, as well as fit together, and one requirement does not necessarily help the other.  I hope you have triple the rehearsal time of a usual production. Best of luck!
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Jacob Starr

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Re: PRODUCING: Simultaneous Shows ?!?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 24, 2016, 04:40 pm »
Um... Wow, I don't really have advice, but that sounds really cool. That is probably going to be a huge challenge, but also a ton of fun. I have never participated in a production like that, it sounds really awesome though.


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Re: PRODUCING: Simultaneous Shows ?!?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 29, 2016, 10:42 am »
Coming late to this thread, but there are two performances remaining of 'Phone Home' which is performing simultaneously in London, Munich and Athens, at 7pm British Summer Time tonight, 7pm GMT tomorrow (the hour changes tonight in the UK and Europe). It is also being live-streamed from all 3 countries at


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