Friday, February 6, 2015

Don't Set Yourself To Be Clothes Minded About The HONK! JR. Set and Costumes!

We took a quick look at the set of HONK! JR. and were transported to a duckyard filled with ducks, geese, frogs, and more! The set is full of larger than life pieces of nature and lively colors that put you in the mood for a lovely poultry tale. 

One's focus is pulled to the gigantic cattails that surround our characters. They help the audience keep in mind that our actors are playing animals, and said animals might not be as tall as some of us are. At the same time, things like the barn in the back are meant to look further back and are therefore a more normal size. Not to mention the bright colors and size of it all help to keep the vibrant energy and youth of this show in all aspects of this show! This set is meant to leave people wanting more and get the audience planted in their seats.

We also went backstage and asked our costume designer, Danielle Held, about her ideas for the show and what our animals will look like! She described the costumes as 1950s hipster. Our Ugly will be rockin' some dark framed glasses with a lot of our girls wearing patterned, wasp-waisted dresses and petticoats. Our frogs are a bit of an exception since they will be decked out in green and as ugly as can be. These costumes serve to show everyone that we are fabulous no matter what we are wearing or what we look like! 

Overall our costumes are meant to help us feel in character, but they aren't used to make us look like each of our animals. It's up to each individual actor to find their own physicality to become the animal while rocking our new hipster wardrobes!

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Cast of HONK JR Is Hatching Up Some Great Morals

We've asked quite a few members of the cast about what message HONK! JR. is trying to send, and they've decided it's all about being accepting of others, embracing differences and coming out of our shells! Here's what a few of our fine feathered friends and cast mates said about the theme of the show...

"I think the moral of the story is to be yourself no matter what you look like or what people say."
-Audra Tweedell (Grace/Bullfrog)

"You have to be true to yourself and be the person you want to be."
-Haley Schertel (Blizzard Soloist)

"It doesn't matter what you look like, you have a beautiful swan inside you!"
-Audrey Molidor (Farmer Girl)

"It's about what's on the inside, not on the outside."
-Anna Schuering (Pinkfoot)

"Don't judge people by their looks."
-Georgia Wilson (Farmer Boy)

"Everyone's different and that's great!"
-Margot Molidor (Penny)

"Your personality changes everything!"
-Lydia Hilbing (Cat)

"Sometimes you change and that's okay."
-Lorraine Seaman (Barnacles)

"Confidence and what's inside matters more than what we look like."
-Courtney Stewart (Ida)

Friday, January 23, 2015

HONK If You Love Seeing Actors As Animals!

HONK! JR. will have you quacking up!

With a cast of students all the way from 3rd grade to 12th, HONK! JR. should have people flocking to QCT! In this adaptation of The Ugly Duckling, an odd-looking duckling named Ugly (Carson Frese) is made fun of and excluded by the other farm animals until he finds himself lured away by a hungry cat (Lydia Hilbing) with a talent for purrsuasion! This different little ducky ends up on quite the journey that leads to a whole flock of unique animals and a lesson that even when you're different, you can "hold your head up high"!

Because this show is filled with fun, farmyard animals, every actor in the show has had to learn how to uniquely carry themselves as a completely new creature--whether it be baby ducks, adult ducks, turkeys, geese, swans, frogs, cats, or some other animal! This cast of young people had to learn that becoming a whole new species effects every little thing from posture to manners to the way we speak. One of the very first days of rehearsal, the director, Kelsey Celek, had the cast spend a big chunk of time walking through a room as each type of animal…

As 25 students transformed into 25 frogs, we were encouraged to find new ways to add hops to our steps and experiment with new twists on the idea of frogs with hip hop. We were especially encouraged to find the particular kind of sass that you'll get to see with our fabulously ugly froglets!
As we became military-driven Canadian geese, everyone suddenly had something to do (not exactly an unusual concept for the busy actor) and a perfect plan for getting it done, along with some amazing posture (which is an unusual concept for a room filled with quite a few teenagers).
Suddenly the room was filled with children sprouting wings and hatching from eggs as our cast began to come into their own and fit the bill with the physicality of their poultry parts.

Having fun with our "duck" faces!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Larry and the Remarkable Puppets!

Larry the Remarkable Pig isn't your average musical. In addition to the talented young actors on the stage, this production requires something... remarkable. And that remarkable thing? PUPPETS!

For our regional premiere of Nickelodeon actor/writer Mark Sarto's new musical, we've chosen to use the original Larry gang from the show's East Coast premiere. With a lot of work from the production staff, these puppets are all getting fresh coats of paint, thread, and a few surprises!

Don't they look great so far?

LARRY THE REMARKABLE PIG (June 12-15). Tickets are $9, on sale now--just call the QCT Box Office at (217) 222-3209. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

set design

It's Willows Wednesday!
Here are two views of the set model, created by our ATD Jillian Warburton.  The model doesn't have all of the walls (in case you're thinking stage left looks rather bare), bannisters, or the overhead beams.
Here's the concept: Per the script, the entire story is told within the confines of the abandoned Toad Hall.  Because it is a memory play, we didn't want solid walls; therefore, the audience will only see partial walls.  The actors will use the furniture from Toad Hall to tell the story.  The audience will be surprised (I hope) as to how we use the space and the furniture. 
Here's an example:
We experimented in rehearsal.  What do you think this is?

The Wind in the Willows runs October 17-20.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Evolution of Fabric

Happy Willows Wednesday!  The picture above shows the same piece of material.  The one on the left is the original.  We have a huge roll of it, and Anna, QCT's costume designer, suggested we use it for one of Mr. Toad's suits.  I said I liked it, but it felt too blue (hard to tell in the picture).  She dyed it green.  That is the middle piece.  I said I liked that it was more green, but overall it felt too dark.  Then, Anna, being a smart cookie, soaked the original fabric in "color remover" and then dyed it green.  That is the strip on the far right.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  The look of the piece on the right is what we will use for Mr. Toad's costume.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The wind is blowing.......

The next student theatre show, "The Wind in the Willows," has been cast and, as of last night, rehearsals have begun!  There are 23 actors, playing multiple characters.  There are 17 students and 6 adults featured in this production.  For some of the actors this will be their first QCT production, and for some, this will be their first time on stage anywhere! 
This week, we are just reading the script.  We take a few days to "just sit and read."  This gives us the chance to make sure we understand what we are saying and why we are saying it.  Next week we will start "blocking rehearsals."  This is where we put the show up on its feet and we figure out how to "physicalize" the story.
Someone on behalf of the company will try to keep you posted on the making of this production and any behind the scenes antics.

We hope you'll come see "The Wind in the Willows" at Quincy Community Theatre.