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Day 11: In Which It Was a Murder, but Not a Crime

Today after watching Chicago's rehearsal I found a red feather on the floor by the prop table so I put it in my hat.


Anyway, as the kids learn their last bits of blocking (for non-theatre folk, "blocking" means "staging"), they'll do run-throughs for the rest of the camp up until the shows. I spent the day hanging out with the teens to get my first look at Chicago.

And OH BOY. They're not even fully off-book yet and it STILL looks good! There was definitely a murder...but was it a crime?

I mentioned at the beginning of camp that these shows are double- and triple-cast. What this means is that multiple actors play the same role on different days. The teens have three shows, so most characters have more than one actor sharing the role.

The Friday cast of Chicago (front) runs a scene while the Saturday casts (back) shadow the same scene in the back of the room. This way every cast gets to practice their motions during run-throughs even if only one is speaking the lines out loud.

Some high schools use multiple-casting in their shows, but many (like mine) do not, making this an interesting change for some students. The fact that different people are playing the same character means each one portrays that character in a different way.

Today I talked to the three teens playing Billy Flynn, the miraculous and sleazy defense attorney, about their takes on the role.

From left to right: Ben Federico, Jordan Keenan, and Anthony Marino play Billy Flynn.

The three boys, Ben Federico, Jordan Keenan, and Anthony Marino, said they were excited to play this role. I asked them to describe the way they played it.

The three boys talk about their take on the character.

"I will never be Billy Flynn again in my life because it's not my character type," said Marino. "I'm the young, comedic guy. So it's a fun challenge to play a mature character."

Federico had the opposite view on his role. "This is one of the easiest roles because it's so me," he said, and playfully added that once he was older, he would play it again.

Keenan's response was, like his acting style, the median of the three. "I play a wide variety of roles," he said, "and I like to act older."

Every multiple-cast character in the show gets this range of personalities from the actors, so every night will give you a different take on the story. Which is why you should come to all of them.

The three teens playing Amos learn their blocking from choreographer Renata Marino.

And speaking of things you should go to—Stage Right is having a fundraiser at Chipotle tomorrow between 4 and 8 pm. Pick up a flyer in the main lobby, and a third of the proceeds will go to Stage Right. FIGHT THE ETERNAL WINTER AND PRISON BLUES WITH SPICY FOOD. That is all.

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