Choosing The Shows

There are many variables to take in to consideration as we decide which shows to produce for a season.  The first thing the Board of Directors of Creative Theater did was individually generate a list of shows they personally liked and thought would be well received in Sevier County.  Based on subject matter these were complied into one inclusive list containing show descriptions and links to video samples for each Board Member to review.

The Round Table

Everyone met for a round table discussion and openly debated the pros and cons of each show; by the end of the debate, we had chosen our “first pick shows” and made a list of “back up’s”.  We took into consideration the demographics of the community and we believe each show selected appeals to a specific age group.

“Smoke on the Mountain”

  • A nostalgic look back to the days of travelling preachers who visited a circuit of Baptist churches. We believe this will appeal to the seniors who may have attended a few of these revival services.

“You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown”

  • A light-hearted show that is sure to appeal to baby boomers that grew up reading “Peanuts” in the Comics.

“Grease”

  • This has always been a popular show and especially now with the recent live broadcast on television. Adults, children and teenagers tuned in to watch celebrity singers and dancers making it a high rated program.

“A Christmas Carol”

  • A classic sure to appeal to families who include this show into their Holiday Traditions. After playing at Dollywood for two years, this show will not return to the park this year, and we hope to appeal to those who fell in love with its timeless message and wish to see the full length version.

While whittling down our list of show possibilities, other factors had to be taken into consideration.  One very important is that the shows chosen are interesting to the performers. No one wants to volunteer weeks of their time for a show that they are not passionate about. Performers want to play characters that challenge them as actors and, through the rehearsal process, know they can grow as an artist. We had to pick shows that offered a wide range of acting styles, dance ability, dramatic acts, and silly comedies. We know our community is rich with a wide range of talent and the shows we choose have to excite the performers.

That Great Big Beautiful Cast….

Along with this we also had to determine the right size of the cast. If the show was too big, we could not afford to produce it.  To pull off a great show you have to keep the details for each cast member in mind: Scripts, costumes fitting for each show (including make-up, wigs and shoes); sets, microphones, and props.  So we networked with several other theater groups to check their inventory.  “Do you have a piano for Schroder in “Charlie Brown”?” “Do you have a car for “Grease Lightning”?” “Do you have church pews for “Smoke on the Mountain”?” The more we can beg, borrow, and steal, ok no stealing (but you get the point), the lower our expenses would be and that was a huge determining factor.

Marketability & Rights

We have to be able to gather an audience to buy tickets in order to pay our bills. Creating a marketing plan for each show to ensure we had a way to promote it was a must; and with that comes consideration of where and what to advertise.  We saw that the hit “Grease” was recently on TV thus knew it held higher potential to draw a great audience; and “Smoke on the Mountain” may draw a higher volume of audiences if advertised in our local Churches. We had wanted to present a show called “Civil War” which has amazing music and a great story; however, if most of Sevier County had no familiarity with it, [four times] as much money would have to be spent for a “buzz” to be generated.  The next and final task was gaining Rights and Royalties (permission from the publisher to do a show), as each show is protected and represented by a publisher.  As you can see getting the entire process, from beginning to end, right from the start is extremely important to our team.

Upcoming Blogs will cover more work that has taken place over the last six months including:  The process of gaining rights, networking with similar theater groups, scouting venues, show Licensing, graphic design process, sponsors, volunteers and other insight to the process of developing Creative Theater.