Monday, January 9, 2012

On Being a Rehearsal Pianist...

With two weeks to go to the opening of Obsidian’s very first musical in association with Acting Upstage we asked our two *apprentices to blog about their experience working on Caroline, or Change. 
 First up is Beau Dixon who is Assistant Musical Director with mentor Reza Jacobs. Beau is a composer, musician, producer, playwright, actor and director. Two of his one act plays (From Here To Africville, Once A Flame) were produced at Factory Theatre (Toronto) and he has performed at 4th Line Theatre for numerous seasons. He is also artistic director for Firebrand Theatre (Peterborough).  Here are Beau’s thoughts on the rehearsal process.

Beau Dixon

"My first couple of weeks rehearsing 'Caroline, Or Change' have been very exciting!
Wow!  Although the work has been non-stop, I have had nothing but a positive experience through the whole process. I wasn't sure what my duties would be exactly.  It turns out Reza Jacobs- the music director- would be using me as the rehearsal pianist, while the director -Robert McQueen- focuses on blocking and character development with the actors.

I am  in the main rehearsal hall with Robert, while Reza works one on one with actors in another room.  Not many people realize how stressful it is to be rehearsal pianist! You have to be pretty 'spot on' with the tempo and overall 'groove' of the piece so you don't throw the actors off. I have learned so much from Reza. He is patient and sensitive, while also being meticulous and demanding with the daily performance that he is wanting from the actors. We are coming closer and closer to opening night. This is a big show! I know it's going to blow people's minds!

 I'm very proud and excited to be a part of the team. Hope you guys can make it out!"

 Beau xo

Caroline, Or Change runs Jan 21 - Feb 12, 2012 at the Berkely Street Theatre Downstairs.
 For tickets call 416-368-3110 or online

*Funded by the Department of Canadian Heritage, Obsidian’s professional training program is grounded in the philosophy of training through exploration and production to enhance knowledge, share skills, increase marketability and strengthen community. If you require more information on this program please contact:
Rupal Shah Apprenticeship Coordinator.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Broadway League's Demographic Stats

So this update is actually brought to you via Thomas Cott of You've Cott Mail. I heartily recommend that you subscribe to his newsletter if you are interested in a huge range of theatrical ideas.

This particular edition of Cott Mail deals with the Broadway Leagues Demographic Study of the racial breakdown of their audiences and some interesting reactions to that study.
It makes for some fascinating reading and leaves some room for intensive thought.

So read away and ponder.

Tyler Coates, BlackBook magazine,   Shocker: Old White People Love Broadway

Marcia's Black Theater Blog         How come Lynn Nottage is not on Broadway?

Tom Loughlin, A Poor Player blog,   Is it so bad to admit that theatre is for white people?