Sunday, August 28, 2011

What the heck is an O-Show??

The 3Ps Orientation show is the most exciting production that is put on each year. Why, you ask?
The O-Show is unique because of its outrageous timeline: most of the production process occurs during the week of Orientation. Yes. ONE WEEK. But how is this possible? Through careful planning, dedication, flexibility, and a sense of humor, of course!


March/early April - (6/5 months before show)
Directors propose their ideas for O-Shows to the membership of 3Ps at the weekly meeting. These proposals have all been approved by the executive board, and include a brief synopsis of the play, a breakdown of the director's artistic vision, and an outline of the technical and casting requirements. At this point, the production staff (designers, stage manager, etc.) has already been selected. After all proposals are presented, the membership deliberates and asks questions. Voting takes place outside of the meeting, after members have a chance to read the scripts if they wish.

*** This year, we had three proposals for O-Shows, all brought forth by directors who were freshmen! Woo!

Late April - (5 months before show)
The show is chosen and auditions are scheduled.

Early May - (4 months before show)
Auditions take place near the end of the semester. These auditions are no different in style or format than other 3Ps auditions. The only special requirement for actors is that to be cast, they must be able to return to campus for Orientation week. What happens during the auditions varies by director. Some have cold-reads, others have improv games, still others hold group auditions. Callbacks are held after all auditions. Before the director can finalize the cast, he or she must check-in with the director of the Torn Ticket II O-Show, to prevent double casting as often actors audition for both shows. Once both directors agree on casting, the final cast list is posted.

*** This year, the 3Ps and TTII show called back a handful of the same people. Both sides were prepared for a battle to win the actors they wanted. Thankfully, no such battle occurred as each side ended up casting different people anyway.

Mid-May - (4 months before show)
Right before everyone goes away for the summer, two meetings must occur. The first is a read-through with the cast, so they can get a feel for the show and the director can make initial notes. At this meeting, the costume designer takes the measurements of the cast, so he or she can get going right away on costumes. The second meeting is a production staff meeting (or pstaff). This is where all the members of the design/tech team gather and discuss the logistics of the show such as budget, design themes and scheduling.

*** Our stage manager, Jeff, was abroad for the spring semester and therefore not present at these meetings. We skyped him in to the production staff meeting, which sort of worked. I believe he was in Hong Kong at the time.

June/July/early August - (3/2/1 month before show)
Over the summer break, the preparations begin. Everyone involved has a task that must be completed before they get back to campus for Orientation week.
  • Actors - The actors must memorize all their lines. Simple as that.
  • Design/Tech - The design/tech staff must make and finalize designs for all aspects of the show.
  • Director/Stage Manager - This duo has the most complicated task of all: scheduling. Somehow they must figure out the best way to go about rehearsing and performing a full-length show in just one week.

*** Cole, our director, had initially proposed a different show for this year's O-Show. However, due to issues with the rights we were not able to continue with it. In June and July, everyone worked hard to find another show that would work with our actors, pstaff and membership. We then decided on Fables for Friends!

End of August - (1.5 weeks before show)
If they have not done so already, the actors and pstaff move back to campus a few days before Orientation. Once everyone is back, rehearsals begin.

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