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TOPIC: Staging

Staging 8 years 4 weeks ago #70

Ok, here's the scoop: I'm going to be staging Twelfth Night as a senior project in my high school. I'll be casting it a couple weeks into the school year (probably with 4-5 really good players and numerous just-ok ones, because that's all we have.) I'm setting it in the Roaring 20's, because I like the way it can apply so easily (heavy drinking/prohibition, the new ideas society was forming on love, and, of course, jazz music.)

Now, here's the problem: I have $200 to start with to stage this, painstakingly saved from an under-the-counter summer job. I'm 15 and can't get more easily, and it's not likely that I'm going to make more than $30 before I stop working for the season.

So, anyone have any suggestions? Ways to stretch $$$? Ways to fundraise?

Thanks in advance to anyone who can take the time. :)
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Staging 8 years 4 weeks ago #72

Sounds like a challenging project!

The first thing you should do is figure out where your costumes are coming from. You might see if your high school drama department has any available or even a local theatre who might be willing to loan some to you (or to your school if they're skittish about the idea of loaning their beautiful costumes to a teenager). Maybe matching costumes for Viola and Sebastian, and make sure you get those bright yellow stockings for Malvolio.. :) Maybe the "rings" are actualy garters... There aren't very many things you need in the the way of props so you might be able to easily dig those few things up.

The set doesn't have to be complex either. Maybe a simple archway that's painted nicely. Maybe you can borrow this from a local theatre or maybe even your local Loew's/Home Depot along with a few free-standing railings. These are just basic ideas, which could be added to or customized to fit your 20's theme. A fake door with a cutout window and little "bars" on it can be quickly placed near this arch (or elsewhere) to create the cell.

Some people can double (like maybe Aguecheek and the Sea Captain), even without any clever cutting. With clever cutting, even more.

You should probably start as early as possible trying to talk to local schools, theatres and businesses to try to get donations of things you need. Make a list and go for it. Only break out the money when you really have to. I think you'll be surprised at the generosity and it never hurts to ask. You might give an incentive like free tickets to the show or an ad in your program (which could be as simple as a single sheet of paper you print on your computer).
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Staging 8 years 4 weeks ago #79

Thanks for the tips! Duely noted.

Also, we'll be performing mainly for a 2 night run in my high school. Any other places we might add onto that? Everyone I know constantly complains that we don't do enough shows, so I was thinking a nursing home or somesuch.
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Staging 8 years 4 weeks ago #80

Our local theatre does "nursing home tours" of certain plays. I doubt you'd find a nursing that wouldn't absolutely LOVE to have you guys perform there. This will also force you to think about the portability of your set, but Twelfth Night is one of those plays that's so easily done with a minimal set.

You might also try other schools in your area, or even move it to a nearby park and give people a few weekend days performances of Free Shakespeare in the Park!
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