Preparing for Broadway

This past week, I have done many tasks, from picking up lunches from EVOS to directing the performance. Broadway Bootcamp began on Monday, June 13 at 9:00 a.m., 23 students walked in to St. Petersburg City Theatre, with the hopes of walking out on Friday evening, prepared to audition for anything their heart desired. 

Monday morning, consisted of taking the medical information, that was provided to us, by the parents, and inputting it into a template that was created for student lanyards. These lanyards would be worn by the students everyday, in case something happened and we didn't have time to look for their medical form. Once that was completed, I began cutting out the individual cards and placing them into the plastic sleeves, attached to the lanyards. 

This summer, St. Petersburg City Theatre partnered with EVOS to provide the kids, with healthy lunches everyday. In the past lunches consisted of Pizza, Macaroni and Cheese, and Chef Boyardee. While, these all seem like the perfect lunches for kids, they aren't the healthiest when you have to eat them everyday. With the EVOS lunch program, the kids could order what they wanted online and it was at the theatre, ready to go at 12:00 sharp. The lunches consisted of a box lunched which included hamburgers, corndogs, chicken strips, wraps, etc. with a water bottle, a fruit and a bag of chips. You could also order Soda, Water and a cookie, if you liked. If the lunch order was 20 meals or more EVOS would deliver to us. If they were not 20 orders or more, someone from the theatre had to go and pick it up. That person happened to be me. You can imagine with only 23 students, that we never got to that 20 lunch order goal, so every day around 11:20, I would get in my 2003 green Toyota Camry and drove to EVOS on 4th street to pick up the lunches.

The rest of the week, consisted of the students working on their monologues, songs, and dance, that was provided by the staff. The final showcase, at the end of the week was done a little differently than it was in the past. In the past, it used to be just a showcase, where the kids would get up, perform their song and their monologue and then sit back down. At the end of it all they would perform their dance, that they learned during the week. This year we decided, to make the final performance a musical. In the weeks prior to the beginning of camp; I wrote a script for the final showcase. It was entitled "The Next Broadway Star." It showed auditions, from the eyes of the people, behind the table. Below you can see the first draft of the front cover of the program, designed by Colleen Weidenfeller, a parent of one of our students. 

During the week, I was in charge of blocking the show, that I had written. I also, helped with the kids monologues. I typed up all of the resumes and helped create the final folder that they got. 

This week, my patience was tested. We had a student, who did not like to be told no. This child, who will not be named, got the wrong information, when it cam to what they were going to preform for the show. They thought that they were going to preform their song, monologue and scene, that I had written, as well as the scene that was part of the audition in the show. The song that this child picked out was inappropriate to preform at a children's show and when they were told that they could only preform the scene that was part of the audition, they through a tantrum, a full blown crying and screaming tantrum. This was not the first time, that this had happened. They were a problem from the begging. If they did not get what they wanted, they would begin to whine and cry. The Camp Director, Jessica Burchfield, and I spent a lot of time with this child, when they were having a fit. We had decided that we would let them preform their monologue because it was only 4 lines. The night of the show came and their scene came up, at the time where I asked them, if they had a monologue prepared, they realized that they forgot some lines earlier and in the heat of the moment walked off-stage. Once off-stage...here came the tantrum. Everybody could hear it and we just kept going. Eventually they stopped. When I asked about it later, the interns that were back there, said it was because they missed their lines and then they missed their lines, in the last scene because they were still having a tantrum. Because of this child, I realized that I have more patience, then I thought,

The performance went swimmingly and the parents all seemed to like it. The one's who have participated in the camp before, really liked this new twist on the final showcase.

~ Griffin Spriggs, Assistant Camp Director