Thursday, August 14, 2008

Theater as High School

Several years ago I went to the Lake Placid Film Festival and saw a short film entitled Dodgeball. No, not the Ben Stiller Dodgeball. In this short film, the characters worked in an office and each character was a caricature of a high school type--the jocks, the pretty girls, the nerds, the pot heads, you name it. Every afternoon, the manager had the office workers play dodgeball against each other; the ultimate in humiliation (except for the jocks of course). Anyway, the friend I attended the festival with, laughed hysterically at the film, commenting that it was just like her office. I didn't see it as quite that funny. I would never have thought that theater productions could be compared to high school cliques...until today.

Another rehearsal for Candide and we spent most of the time on music and dance. While the actors learned the music, the stage managers had very little to do. Oh, we made lists, but even that has it's limits. So we chatted with Jackie Goldfinger, the dramaturg--what's a dramaturg you say? Well, that's another post, altogether--who mentioned that you could, actually, make connections between production personnel and the different high school personalities. So for what it's worth, here's how we made the comparisons:
  • The Actors are the cool crowd
  • The Crew members are the pot heads (I didn't say it)
  • The Dramaturg is the nerd (her words because she's always looking things up)
  • The Production People (Production Manager, Costume Shop Manager, Props Master, Technical Director) are those "ivy leaguers." You know, the kids who seem to be able to do everything and easily float between the different cliques. The ones who have it made.
  • The director is, of course, that great teacher that everyone wants to impress.

As for Stage Managers, well, we're the Assistant Principal. Remember that guy? He was always enforcing the rules and yelling at you for breaking them:

You're late! No smoking at school! Aren't you supposed to be in class now?
Except we say:
You're late! No smoking in costume! Aren't you supposed to be on stage now?

So I'm wondering how we'd all do in dodgeball?

1 comment:

  1. Ha! This made me laugh.

    And cry. Just a little bit...