It would be impossible for me to recount all the joys (and occasional agonies) of creating quality shows with students. My approach is to give them ownership of the material, and walk the fine line between controlling the production and making it a space for growth. Thoughtful planning is necessary to bring all the pieces together in a way that makes kids and their families stand up and applaud. The gallery below is a selection of posters and images from shows I have produced, directed, designed or co-directed.
Below, a gallery of posters from a selection of shows. Click to enlarge
Ten Klicks South of Whiskey
Ryan Smithson created Ten Klicks South of Whiskey as a MFA thesis project and follow up to his popular memoir Ghosts of War, which is taught in many local districts. Following an early 2015 production based on Ghosts at Proctors, I spoke with Ryan and he mentioned he was working on the play. Over the summer he shared drafts and we worked out a plan to stage the show at Averill Park as a veteran's benefit. With his permission, the performance was filmed and posted on Youtube. Use the button below to access it. The work was a real challenge for actors as it is an interconnected series of multi-page monologues with a few scenes of dialogue. It allowed our students to develop as interpreters of text, performers, and as participants in the process of helping soldiers heal.
Production & Rehearsal Images
Below, a selection of scenes from various productions. Click to enlarge
Every year one of our shows is dedicated to community service. Often admission is by cash donation or non-perishable food items, which we donate to the Rensselaer County Commission of Economic Opportunity, or CEO. The world premiere of Ten Klicks South of Whiskey was a benefit for Soldier's Heart, a Troy based agency that supports veterans in their transition to civilian life.
Our most recent production,Young Frankenstein
Our most recent production was Mel Brooks Young Frankenstein. I've separated these images out to give a broader sense of the entire show. Click on images to enlarge. Photographs courtesy of Eleanor Goldsmith