Co-director Garen Tennant
Charlie Brown Rehearsal [Cast]
Mon Jun 9, 2014 16:22
188.10.32.35

Garen and Addi were ambitious. Two directors meant they could pack two shows into one year, and while Garen was thrilled that RMI could have a fall show and a spring show, it put everything on an accelerated schedule. This of course didn’t matter for the talent show, which left the students entirely to their own devices. (Garen had planned it this way—the show which required less help from him would happen when he had a newborn to take care of.)

For You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, having only one semester meant a rigorous rehearsal schedule. They’d begun the day after the cast list went up, with some getting-in-character exercises and a sing-through. Addi had made it very clear she wanted Garen to govern the choreographing for the show, which was fine by him. He liked blocking as much as the next guy.

It had been ages since the last double-cast show (Peter Pan, ten or eleven years ago), and while Garen liked giving everyone a chance, it meant extra-long rehearsals so they could run everything with both the Shark cast and the Jet cast. They’d also, he realized, possibly made an error in not double-casting Schroeder, since he had two big scenes with both Sally and Lucy, and they could have killed two auguries with one spell if the Sharks and the Jets could be rehearsed at the same time. But Garen was ultimately happy with the roles everyone had. He hoped the students were happy, too.

They’d just finished “My New Philosophy” (once with Olivia and once with Strawberry) and were moving on to “The Book Report.” This was Garen’s favorite number in the show, and while he had something of a vision of how he’d like it to look, he wanted to give the students a chance to interpret the characters their own way.

Garen had very few recommendations. He thought Grace, as Woodstock, should join Snoopy and Sally “chasing rabbits” behind the main action of the scene. (Although he was sort of hoping Grace wouldn’t sing. She was a fantastic actress, and Garen had loved her audition—even singing along when prompted—but the girl needed a cauldron to carry a tune.) He recommended that Copeland be as big as possible and Riley as despondent as possible with their parts, but left everyone to their own devices otherwise. Garen would give them his notes after each run.

“Let’s take the Jets cast first,” Garen called, taking a seat at the upright piano he’d pulled onto the stage. Garen had been playing piano for over twenty years, and he was familiar enough with the music that he could play the accompaniment while watching the scene. He put his hands on the keys, giving Starr, Grace, and Strawberry their cue, and let the scene unfold.

    • Rehearsing and breakingFinn Dubois, Mon Jun 30 23:41
      Finn had been partnered with Mikey Lawrence in the Jet cast, which struck her as funny when they were acting in scenes together. The tallish eighteen-year-old wasn’t exactly on par with her... more
    • Mikey Van Pelt for the win!Michael Lawrence, Jr. [Aquila], Fri Jun 27 22:21
      Some people in the theatre world resented being doublecast. And really, they had every right to. Perhaps they felt cheated in that their hard work and potential were evidently not deserving of their... more
      • You have Schroeder Henkes’ voteCopeland Henkes [Cetus], Sun Jun 29 12:59
        Cope couldn’t believe it when he saw the cast list. It felt like three impossible things had happened. First, he’d been cast, which was a big deal when they’d had more auditions than roles. Second,... more
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