Saturday, February 03, 2007

How To Get A Head...

There's a very funny scene in SIX WOMEN WITH BRAIN DEATH where a severed head sings a duet with her best friend, and receives some valuable advice from her best friend.

There's one little catch - in order to do a scene with a severed head, you have to actually create a severed head.

And so, this is what we set out to do yesterday. Michelle, the actress playing the role, graciously agreed to have a cast of her head made for the show, and what follows is the process that she went through.

Essentially, a soft negative cast of her face is made, and then plaster is poured into that cast, making the head, which can then be painted and dressed to be identical to the actress.

Enjoy the following videos which document what Michelle went through during the process:



Note the straws in her nose, which are used to allow her to breathe during the 25 or so minutes in which her face is completely covered.

And the pourung begins:



This next video actually looks more like some surgical procedure is taking place, with all of the hands in there working:



Michelle had a sense of humor during all of this, and even took time out during the drying process to hum a few bars of the show for us:



And finally came the removal, which I include here just to prove that we did not, in fact, suffocate one of our cast members:



A pretty cool process, all in all... hope you enjoy this glimpse behind the scenes!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Background on SIX WOMEN WITH BRAIN DEATH....

It occurs to me that, as I talk to people about this show, there are very few people who have actually ever heard of it before. Indeed, I had never heard of it prior to taking it on as a directing project.

It's too bad, as it's a musical that is TONS of fun for both the cast as well as the audience. The music is wonderfully creative. And it's challenging, which is perhaps what I like most about it, at least from the viewpoint of a director. It has enjoyed extended runs at theatres across the country, some of which ran for years and years.

Here's a brief history of the show from the MTI website:
The original production was written and performed at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri and was a huge hit. Later on, it broke records in a 22-month run at San Diego Rep, where Variety called it "a lifesaver for the theatre." In fact, Mayor Maureen O'Connor was so glad to see the success that Six Women brought that she named February 17, 1992 "Six-Women-with-Brain-Death-or-Expiring-Minds-Want-to-Know Day!" After seeing a Dallas production, a producer brought the show for a limited engagement to benefit AIDS causes in 1992 at Steve McGraw's, a cabaret space. True to its grassroots popularity, it continues to have a flourishing life in spaces across the country.
In addition, you may want to take a listen to portions of some of the music from the show. I'm linking to the MTI website, which has clips from the show available to listen.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Has It Ever Crossed Your Mind?

As a director, lots of times you get ideas for images that you might like to see on stage. Other times, you might want to try a particular gag or effect, but it's not appropriate.

And THEN you have an opportunity to direct a show like SIX WOMEN.... Because of it's revue-based structure, it's satirical look at pop culture, and it's fast-paced leaps from one topic to the next, it's the perfect show to experiment with creative and zany production elements.

Ever wonder what a musical would look like if it incorporated a sixty-inch flat panel television, pyrotechnics, a severed head, a pogo stick, a life-sized horse, an M-16, and confetti cannons... and that's just scratching the surface???

Well, wonder no more... follow along as we map our journey toward Opening Night of SIX WOMEN... on February 22nd, or better yet... make plans to join us by calling our box office at (610) 606-4608.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

And Thus It Begins!!!

Auditions are over...

Rehearsals have begun...

Time to enter the world of...

BRAIN DEATH!!!!