Thursday, January 13, 2011

Casting the Spider

Today intern and casting assistant Nicole Moreno talks to us alittle about the art of casting and what it is like for us to take on the mammoth job of finding the perfect cast for Kiss of the Spiderwoman.

The casting process is one of the most time consuming parts of putting on a show. It literally takes days. Now, I’m assuming that the director and his assistant know more or less what to expect from the people pouring in to audition. However, Kiss of the Spiderwoman was only my second show to work as casting assistant, and I had no earthly clue what to expect. By the end of it, I was amazed.

There were so many different people auditioning, it’s a wonder that the director, Adam Adolfo, can pick out just a few for the show. I heard beautiful sopranos and mezzos, lovely tenors and basses. Some less then lovely but the theatricality was breath-taking with just about everyone that auditioned. The talent was vast, and to get to experience it all was fantastic.

As different people start coming in one starts to wonder about them. How they are, how they will sing. Will they blow our minds? Will it be utterly disappointing? Are we going to be able to get the best cast for this? I’ve found that with so many talented actors in DFW, the last question is an obvious yes. What Adam has taught me, however, is that it’s not just about being a great actor or singer. It’s about being a great performer. One has to be able to move the audience in a way thought impossible and leave them longing for more.

So to find the absolute right cast is a rather tedious job, but it’s a job that we definitely are getting done. We still have two more days of auditions next week - it's hard to believe that the stakes can get any higher, but believe me - THEY CAN! (And probably will!) All the actors are giving the best they’ve got to be part of this memorable, heartbreaking show. Don’t miss it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Spark of Creation

Over the next 12 weeks, we will be bringing you blogs from the production staff, artistic staff, and cast for the Artes de la Rosa production of the Kander and Ebb Musical, KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN. Today's blog comes from Executive Director Adam Adolfo, who is also directing the show! Enjoy what he has to say on the first steps to making a show!

You’re told, “You’re directing this show!” and you say, “Great!” First comes blinding excitement. Then comes remorseful dread! That’s immediately followed by encompassing doubt!! Which leads us to TOTAL PANIC!

What am I gonna do?!
How am I supposed to direct this?!
Where will I find the talent?!
What if people hate it?!
What if it’s a flop?!!

Then in the middle of the night you’re awoken by a dream - or maybe you’re in line at Starbucks getting your Green Tea Latte - or just maybe you’re in the shower thinking about how to tell the producer, you’re not the right person to direct this show – when it happens! It’s a flicker of an idea - more like a spark – and suddenly you have ‘creation’ and your intuition meets with your ambition to devise innovation along side your imagination and you begin the process known as conceptualization

You magically see it. You feel it. If the ‘spark of creation’ is that good, you might even taste it! Conceptualization is the process of devising your show - The process that makes the play or musical ‘yours’. You may have seen Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing before, but it’s completely different with each directors unique eye for story telling and it is their hunger, passion, desire, and spirit that leads them to direct the show with their own special vision.

Artistic Vision is the key to great stage storytelling. You can always tell when the production lacked vision. The stage fails to sizzle. The actors fail to crackle with excitement. The audience doesn’t simmer as the story unfolds. “It all is lackluster. It lacks – well luster.”

When the vision is strong…it’s like an itch. Persistent and occasionally annoying. You suddenly can’t do anything but focus all your energy and attention on flushing out the concept to make sure it really works with the story. This is simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Why? Well, you need the opportunity to decide whether the concept is any good or if it’s the director’s pure vanity that makes it ‘exciting’. This stage is critical or you end up with dud shows like “HAMLET” (in Hawaii).

More often then not your intuition will not lead you astray and the concept – once tweaked - is actually a great addition to the story the play is telling and is providing to the audience something new that they had never experienced before. Additionally it is showcasing the director’s special brand of Artistic Vision.

When does this happen? Months – sometimes years – before the director ever gets to the audition. Before the director even gets his designers… this spark of creation is the first seed required to raise the crop known as a show. And the field it grows on is the one of the imagination.

The imagination…the initial spark of creation couldn’t exist with out it and it is the director’s playground. That’s where I started with Kiss of the Spiderwoman - In the imagination. A single idea. A kernel. A grain that will lead us – in the next 12 weeks – to a dark, decadent, and dramatic musical that will be unlike anything you have ever seen onstage at the Rose Marine Theater.

Are you ready for it?

Friday, January 7, 2011


Want to be "BEHIND THE SCENES OF KISS OF THE SPIDERWOMAN"? Well you can! Starting Monday the 10th, ever Monday and Thursday, the Artes de la Rosa Blog will be updated by a member of the cast or one of the brilliant designers working on the show. It's your chance to get a sneak peak at what is going on to get the MUSICAL, Kiss of the Spiderwoman off the ground and into the air!