Vote For Me!

June 28, 2016

Vote For Me was this past Saturday, and it went off without a hitch!

We interns met the production team at the Prospect offices to carry the necessary props and materials over to the TimesCenter. You will never be a complete theatre person until you’ve carried props through the middle of midtown.

IMG_8588Fabulous intern Leah carries a stool through Manhattan!

Once at the TimesCenter, I took a while to get acclimated to how GORGEOUS it is! Seriously, if you couldn’t come see Vote For Me, go see whatever show is playing there next. Because it is probably the coolest venue I’ve seen. While most off-broadway NYC theaters I’ve seen are fairly similar, sparse, black boxes, the TimesCenter has a garden as its backdrop. Not to mention, the seats are spacious and the theater as a whole is just great!

IMG_8593Simply stunning!

IMG_8590Look at all that legroom!

Once we set up the stage, the actors arrived and began teching the show with the production team. We interns headed out to the box office to sell some tickets!

IMG_8610Joohwan, Leah, and I selling tickets! Check out the fancy lights behind us!

The show itself was wonderful! I spoke to several audience members after the show and they thoroughly enjoyed it. One audience member spoke to the power of voting the production inspired in her – she said she will definitely vote in the upcoming election!

Though the debate was a close one, democratic candidate Janet Tilghman won! We had around a 100% voter turnout, which is roughly double the actual voter turnout in this country… as Robyn’s song in Vote For Me pointed out. Overall, we had a great turnout for this production, and we hope you enjoyed the show if you were able to join us on Saturday!

IMG_8599The show advertised outside the TimesCenter

IMG_8613The cool setup of the stage – garden and all!

IMG_8607So many filled seats! So many happy audience members!

IMG_8587Congratulations to Governor Janet Tilghman for winning the election by popular vote!

In The Rehearsal Room

June 24, 2016

The other day, I was lucky enough to sit in on a rehearsal for Vote For Me, which goes up this Saturday at the TimesCenter! The experience was my first with the show, and I quickly discovered how much I like it!

Upon finding 777 Studios and walking up the billions of stairs (or so it felt), I found several of the cast members in a rehearsal room awaiting the arrival of their director, Amy Rogers. Once Amy, Scott and Drew (the guys behind the whole show), and the rest of the cast arrived, they began rehearsing the hilarity that is Vote For Me.

VFM authors in rehearsal
Scott Elmegreen & Drew Fornarola, the writers!

Vote For Me has a week to rehearse; that means everybody hit the ground running on Monday and has not stopped. I have never been part of a concert performance before, so I was curious to see how everyone would fare at only the second rehearsal….And I was definitely impressed! Despite having only one vocal rehearsal under their belts, everybody seemed comfortable with the music. It’s a wordy show, but their diction allowed even me, a total newcomer to the material, to understand exactly what was going on.

Vote For Me is scarily applicable to today’s current events, even though it premiered several years ago. I knew absolutely nothing about politics up until this year, when it hit me that voting a leader into office really is a privilege not afforded to the majority of the world. But my baby-stepping into politics so far has still mostly included Buzzfeed articles – so I was slightly surprised when I found myself laughing out loud at the politically-undertoned jokes in the script.

Did you hear that? You don’t have to be politically inclined to enjoy this show! Even if venturing into politics for you means binge-watching Scandal, I guarantee Vote For Me will still make you laugh. Heck, you might even learn something!

The rehearsal progressed nicely – blocking was kept simple for the concert setup, and the actors’ ebb and flow around the stage came to life as the political debates we can watch on TV (or not watch, as the case may be).

2 actor pic Sarah Brennan

Sarah Ziegler & Brennan Caldwell, two of the actors, rehearsing their music!

I can’t wait to see how the following rehearsals have shaped this already fantastic work-in-progress! Remember, Vote For Me is this Saturday, June 25th at 8pm at the TimesCenter (242 W 41st Street) as part of Prospect’s IGNITE Series. Ticket information can be found at our website, http://www.prospecttheater.org/, and on the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/1277888742221624/. See you there!

With Vote For Me quickly approaching, it’s a great time to introduce some of the cast and creative team of this fun production! I was lucky enough to meet these great people at rehearsal the other day, and got the inside scoop about their theatrical lives.

First up, Drew Fornarola!

unnamed

  1. What is your role?
    >> Co-author
  2. Describe your character in 3 words.
    >> The mean writer
  3. What is your favorite musical?
    >> Jesus Christ Superstar
  4. What was the first show you were in?
    >> DanceWorks’ Spring Recital, at age 5
  5. What is your favorite part of Vote For Me?
    >> I laugh the hardest at “Middle East Disney,” but I think my favorite part is
    revealing the new president at the end.
  6. What is your dream role?
    >> Alan Menken
  7. What is the most important part of this show? Why?
    >> It’s a tie between the diction and the sound mixing. There are a lot of damn
    words in this show!

 Next, we have Scott Elmegreen!

unnamed-2

  1. What is your role?
    >> Writer
  2. What is your favorite musical?
    >> Impossible question. Floyd Collins holds a special place in my heart..
  3. What was the first show you were in?
    >> The Laramie Project, as an actor, actually. The first shows I wrote with Drew
    were with the Princeton Triangle Club, like Cara and Pete!
  4. What is the most important part of this show? Why?
    >> (Also my favorite part of Vote For Me) America is an awesome country, but
    we’re really bad at voting. My favorite part of this show, aside from all the
    ways in which it makes me laugh, is that it’s a really good reminder of
    both of these things.

Next up, Amy Jo Jackson!

unnamed

  1. What is your role?
    >> Governor Janet Tillghman, Democratic Nominee
  2. Describe your character in 3 words.
    >> Shes. Gonna. WIN.
  3. What is your favorite musical?
    >> Don’t have one, I like an awful lot of them, but I’ve listened to the Hair OBC
    recording probably more than any other show.
  4. What was the first show you were in?
    >> I played Charlotte Sowerberry and the Rose Seller in Oliver.
  5. What is your favorite part of Vote For Me?
    >> It’s extremely silly. I love being silly.
  6. What is your dream role?
    >> I have a lot of those. If we’re talking tomorrow, Queenie in LaChiusa’s Wild
    Party. If we’re talking of all time, it’s Mame or Mrs. Lovett.
  7. What is the most important part of this show? Why?
    >> Me winning. People voting for me so that my character wins and I therefore
    win the show. Obviously.

And next we have Jason Collins!

unnamed

  1. What is your role?
    >> Senator Buddy Rounsaville
  2. Describe your character in 3 words.
    >> Well-intentioned, ambitious, clueless
  3. What is your favorite musical?
    >> It’s so hard to pick just one, but maybe Sweeney Todd?
  4. What was the first show you were in?
    >> My first show was The Sound of Music. I was Kurt, the youngest von Trapp
    boy. (I was 12 and still a soprano).
  5. What is your favorite part of Vote For Me?
    >> My favorite part of this show is the fact that it was written in 2010, but is actually even more spot-on and relevant today.
  6. What is your dream role?
    >> The Emcee in Cabaret has always been a dream role and I got to do it last
    year, in a fantastic production directed by Brian Yorkey.
  7. What is the most important part of this show? Why?
    >> I think the most important part of this show is how it uses humor to expose the
    hollowness of politics. How almost every “Issue” is used by a party to
    manipulate voters, using politicians as simple mouth pieces; politicians
    who don’t necessarily even share those opinions, or views. Much like
    reality TV, they want you to feel like it’s real, but in fact, it’s all carefully
    scripted for maximum effect.

Then Sarah Ziegler!

unnamed-3.jpg

  1. What is your role?
    >> Amy, the wife of the Republican candidate.
  2. Describe your character in 3 words.
    >> Power-hungry, loony, sopraaaaano!
  3. What is your favorite musical?
    >> Oh man! Too many to narrow it down. My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Murder
    for Two, and more!
  4. What was the first show you were in?
    >> The Sound of Music, I played Louisa.
  5. What is your favorite part of Vote For Me?
    >> I love all the fantasies and flashbacks. They are used so brilliantly and offer
    amazing opportunities for imagination and humor.
  6. What is your dream role?
    >>  Eliza Doolittle!
  7. What is the most important part of this show? Why?
    >> To me, the most important (and most amazing!) thing about Vote For Me is
    that it succeeds in being smart, sardonic, relevant, edgy as well as sweet
    and uplifting!

Last but not least, Brennan Caldwell!

unnamed

  1. What is your role?
    >> The Advisor
  2. Describe your character in three words.
    >> Puckish, cunning, and a third word he’s refusing to reveal.
  3. What is your favorite musical?
    >> Sweeney Todd
  4. What was the first show you were in?
    >> In second grade, I played a messenger in a play about a princess, and I got to wear tights.
  5. What is your favorite part of Vote For Me?
    >>  The list of countries that beat us in voter turnout.
  6. What is your dream role?
    >> Right now, King George in Hamilton.
  7. What is the most important part of this show? Why?
    >> Vote, please God, everyone vote. I’m seeing articles shared in the wake of the Brexit fiasco that say even some people who opted to leave are regretting the result. Your vote matters. Apathy kills democracy.

See these lovely faces and more at Vote For Me this Saturday!

Announcement!

June 23, 2016

I am happy to announce that I, Hannah Weaver, social media intern with Prospect Theater Company, will be taking over the blog for the Summer to fill you in on all our exciting projects!

First up: Vote For Me: A Musical Debate is kicking off the Summer season on Saturday, June 25th at 8pm at The TimesCenter (242 W 41st Street). Vote For Me is a one-act musical about fictional politicians, which (if this season’s Tony Awards taught us anything) can be way more interesting than it sounds. The show centers around a musical debate between two presidential candidates, and the outcome is determined by audience vote!

Written by Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen, Vote For Me premiered at the 2010 New York Musical Theater Festival, ran Off-Broadway two Summers ago, and played last Summer in London with the London Theatre Workshop.

The show knocks American politics in a way that makes us laugh but also reminds us that voting is an important privilege that we as Americans should exercise. According to UK Theatre, “The lines and lyrics by Drew Fornarola and Scott Elmegreen are intelligent and witty, hitting at the core of U. S. political culture. Don’t miss this laugh-out-loud funny satire about U. S. politics.” And Peter Filichia of TheaterMania said, “Never before have I wept because I saw in no uncertain terms how blasé we’ve become about our right to choose our leaders…thank you, Messrs. Elmegreen and Fornarola, for reminding us.”

Keeping in mind the show’s undertones about the importance of voting, Prospect is offering a special promotion for current college students and recent graduates! For just $20, students can purchase a ticket and a drink ticket for use at the after-party. For more information about this promotion, visit the Facebook event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1009924115770452/.

About the duo behind Vote For Me:

Scott Elmegreen is a playwright, songwriter, and author. His shows include Straight (Off-Broadway; NYT Critics’ Pick; pub. Dramatic Publishing), Tiananmen (Feinstein’s/54 Below; NY Theatre Barn’s New Works Series), Vote For Me: A Musical Debate (Off-Broadway; London Theatre Workshop), COLLEGE: The Musical (Hippodrome State Theatre; pub. Dramatic Publishing), Thucydides (Samuel French OOB Festival winner; pub. Samuel French), Ivy & Bean: The Musical (Atlantic Theater Company; South Coast Repertory; national tour; pub. Theatrical Rights Worldwide), Magic School Bus, Live! (national tour), Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy: The Musical (Bay Area Children’s Theatre; national tour), and Awesome Allie, First Kid Astronaut (Vital Theatre; pub. Theatrical Rights Worldwide). Elmegreen also writes music for plays and film, including the Drama Desk and Emmy Award-nominated Colin Quinn: Long Story Short, directed by Jerry Seinfeld (Broadway; Off-Broadway; HBO; national tour). He is the author of four novels, and a graduate of Princeton University. www.ScottElmegreen.com.

Drew Fornarola is a songwriter and playwright from New York. He is currently developing a stage musical for DreamWorks. Other theater projects include Straight, (2016 New York Times Critics’ Pick); Claudio Quest (dir. John Tartaglia, winner of six 2015 NYMF Awards for Excellence), optioned by Dramatic Forces); Molly Shannon‘s Tilly The Trickster (Atlantic Theater Company, collaboration with Saturday Night Live’s Molly Shannon); Thucydides (Winner of Samuel French Play Festival); Vote (for Me!): A Musical Debate (London Theatre Workshop); COLLEGE: The Musical (MTVu Award, Hippodrome State Theatre); and 2 musicals for children. Film projects include Veggie Tales Noah’s Ark (DreamWorks, 2015) starring Wayne Brady. He has received a NYMF Award for Excellence in Lyrics, the John Wallowitch Award for Songwriting, was a Finalist for the 2014 Kleban Award and 2009 Richard Rodgers Award, and is a four-time MAC Award nominee. He has a B.A. from Princeton University, and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and is an Alumnus of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop.
Hope to see everyone at Vote For Me on Saturday!