Hey, Michelle here—Brown Paper Box Co. marketing director, resident dramaturg, and performer in our upcoming cabaret!
When describing CHARACTER BREAKDOWN, I've occasionally encountered confusion from people who are unfamiliar with musical theatre. "We're all going to be 'miscast,' singing songs as characters we'd never be able to play onstage," I would explain.
"Miscast?" some would reply. "Like...what?"
The performance below is the example I often give to send the concept home. It's from our CHARACTER BREAKDOWN cabaret last spring, and it perfectly illustrates what we're doing:
It's a pretty safe bet that BPB Artistic Associate Stephanie Rohr will never get to play Joe in Show Boat. The gender, race, and voice parts of the performer and the character are completely incongruous. But that's the sheer fun of a miscast cabaret—the singers get the chance to sing something they might otherwise never get to perform, and the audience has the opportunity to enjoy both classic and contemporary musical theatre favorites in a whole new way. (And doesn't "Ol' Man River" sound surprisingly lovely coming out of a red-headed soprano?)
That's what CHARACTER BREAKDOWN is all about.
CHARACTER BREAKDOWN: A MISCAST CABARET
September 7th @ 8 PM
Davenport's Piano Bar & Cabaret
Check out Backstage's fantastic 21 Things That Make Casting Directors Happy in the Audition Room.
1. Accept the invitation with grace and enthusiasm. You were requested to be here as our guest.
2. Come to work and not to please or get our approval.
3. Enter with certainty. Don’t give up your power as soon as the door opens.
4. Play on a level playing field. We’re all figuring it out. Together.
5. Make no excuses whatsoever. Leave your baggage outside. Better yet, at home.
6. Make the room your own. It will make us so much more comfortable.
7. Ask questions only when you truly need answers. “Do you have any questions?” is usually another way of saying: “Are you ready?” You aren’t required to have one.
8. Know your words and understand what you’re talking about. You don’t have to be totally off-book, but if you’ve spent quality time with the material, you’re going to know it.
9. Do your homework on the project. This includes knowing all the players and the show or film’s tone and style. Read all the material you can get your hands on.
10. Make choices and take responsibility for the choices you make.
Read the other 11 here!
Brown Paper Blog
Making theatre. Writing about it. Maybe some hilarious Youtube cat videos in between.