Because I live in a small corner of Canada and my plays are often performed far away from me, I don’t get to see many productions. So I love it when a director or a teacher reaches out to let me know what they did with a play and how it went. Stacey Meisetschlaeger from Texas recently directed Agatha Rex with her middle school and had great succeeds with it.
I wanted to tell you about the wonderful success our middle school had with Agatha Rex. First of all, I absolutely loved the script when I read it; I was SO excited about the opportunities having a Chorus gave me as a director. I chose to produce the play for our Spring Play Festival and Competition, an event the middle school directors in our district put together.
Agatha Rex earned a Superior ranking (the highest possible) and we also earned Best Actor and Best Actress (of all 5 plays competing in our zone). Four other awards are given for each production as well.
Our judge who critiqued us said that we were a college-grade production. He gave only advanced characterization suggestions (for middle-schoolers) and praised each actor individually. The students in the cast worked VERY hard and were willing to do anything I asked them. They pushed themselves and succeeded as a team!
We had a total of 41 students perform. There was a huge Chorus. I was able to have them transition on/off stage with scene changes (only 1/2 the Chorus present during most scenes). It looked very fluid. It allowed a Chorus to be on stage the entire performance, but also gave the illusion of students going to class.
I was really intrigued by Stacey’s use of the Chorus and asked her to tell me more. Stay tuned to Thursday for a post all about working with a large Chorus!