Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. We Open Tomorrow Night?! by Michael Wehrli is a scripted talent show where you are the stars. Each production can insert their own acts (dance, comedy, singing – the choice is yours) for an hilarious and entertaining evening for all – available in full-length and one-act versions!
It’s the dress rehearsal for the Belvedere student-run talent show and things aren’t running smoothly. The PTA mom is being very pushy. The British act can’t get a grip on the accent. Ian wants to air guitar on pogo sticks, and what happened to the lights?
As they say, the show must go on!
Why did we publish this play?
We often get groups telling us they were so inspired by a play that they wanted to add their own material. While that’s not possible with published scripts, it’s always been in the back of our minds to have a piece where student input was not only welcome but encouraged!
So when We Open Tomorrow Night?! came across our desks we were delighted. It’s a talent show inside of a scripted piece – the best of both worlds. Your students can develop pieces that showcase their talents, and at the same time develop interesting and full of life characters. If you like what you read, there’s also a one act version!
Let’s hear from the author!
1. Why did you write this play?
I was working with a group of middle school students at a local school here in Portland Oregon. For years they had done a yearly talent show as a way to give a nice “send off” to those going on to high school, and also to celebrate the school year. Parents and teachers let me know that in previous years, the talent show was incredibly long, very disorganized, and there wasn’t anything for those interested in acting to do. So, I worked with the group of students to come up with ideas for possible stories to tie everything together. It was decided that a dress rehearsal would work.
Then, I worked with all of the actors doing a variety of games, exercises, and group discussion to get to know them really well–and thus somewhat base the characters in the play on their personalities and strengths/qualities. We also discussed school memories and decided that they should be shared as part of the play, but exaggerated. Lastly, they all shared at least one memory of something odd or difficult that had happened in previous year’s shows. With all this fabulous information, I went off and wrote the play, making sure to leave room for the actual “acts” in the “talent show”.
2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
The power of overcoming obstacles by finding the strength & support of community and working together.
3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
Most poignant – When Mrs. Whistlestop (a PTA mom) truly sees her daughter Katherine for who she is and hugs her.
Most fun – Katherine’s wonderful Cart of many things.
4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Play it honestly! Yes, there are high-comedic moments in the play, but they must be played honestly and real. Also keeping in mind that all the characters want the best show possible. However, they all have a different idea of how to achieve this goal, and sometimes are too attached to the way they think things should be.
5. Why is this play great for student performers?
We all know and/or have seen many talent shows over the years. The play is a fun way to explore what goes on to make such an event possible with all its challenges. It gives opportunities for actors to participate along with the talent “acts”. Having openings in the play to insert actual “acts” into the “talent show” gives a wide range of choices as to the size of the cast. Those who are not actors can still participate!
Get your copy of We Open Tomorrow Night?! – full length or one-act versions – right here, right now!Not right for your group right now? Search our play catalogue to find one that your performers will love!
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