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dramacentral dramacentral is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2005
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dramacentral
 
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Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 736
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Old 05-19-2006, 01:46 AM
 
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djapley, your message assumes that "chorus" parts are undesirable or less important to a show than main roles, which is not the case and something I try to stress to the kids. If you look at most musicals, you will see a large group of actors and actresses in supporting roles basically holding up the show with their singing, dancing, crowd reactions, etc. When something dramatic is happening onstage, you need the chorus to "sell" it by reacting. I've had many talks with my big cast about how help the audience focus its attention and know how to interpret what's going on.

My audition took place in our art room, with all the kids sitting around. I said the line, and then asked who wanted to repeat it. Kids who felt the most confident went first, and then kids who had to warm a bit tended to see their peers going for it and decided to do the same. Most of my kids have language processing issues, so I would often break down a line into small parts or just have them say something that approximated the meaning. Some of my "stars" have severe receptive language deficits but can nevertheless speak with confidence - they just learned their lines the way they learn everything else, slowly with a lot of repetition and support.

A kid who doesn't feel comfortable repeating a line out loud in front of fellow actors probably isn't going to want to perform a large role, all by himself or herself, in front of an audience with lights and microphones. Those kids almost never request a big part and like to act and sing within the context of a crowd. Sometimes they come back to me next year and say that they feel ready for a bigger role, which is great. Two of this year's main characters both have had supporting or even non-verbal roles in previous productions.
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