In the world of acting, there’s a saying: “Never work with children or live animals.”
The idea is that kids and animals are unpredictable, temperamental, and often don’t take direction well, which makes them difficult to work with.
On the other hand, adult human actors are unpredictable, temperamental, and SOMETIMES don’t take direction well.
You see the difference?
Encore!Encore! has performed plays in the past that call for dogs. In those cases, we’ve always cast local talent, Lucky the Stuffed Yorkie.
But this year, for Encore!Encore!’s production of the musical comedy Suite Surrender, we decided to go all out and cast a real, live dog.
Why, you may ask, would we cast a live dog?
The simple answer is hubris (defined as dangerous overconfidence that often leads to ones own destruction.) Also, we found a really cute dog.
Ema the Yorkie is a native of Fort Collins and long-time theater fan, having attended several productions with her best friend, Marge. Ema’s always wanted to try her hand at acting. After a chance meeting with Encore!Encore!’s director, Ema decided to take a leap and audition for Suite Surrender. Turns out, she’s a natural!
“Ema takes some notes from Cindy, the director.”
We’re about halfway through our rehearsal period (which means tickets are available at LCTIX.com now!). Ema has attended several rehearsals and has been the consummate professional and a joy to work with throughout all of it. She already has all of her entrances and exits down perfectly and she has all of her lines memorized.
Sure, the human actors are doing pretty good, too, but I have noticed they’re not as adorable when they’re on stage as Ema effortlessly manages to be.
Yet, Ema’s patience with the other actors is unending. She’s always willing to lend them an ear, as long as they’re willing to scratch it.
“Scott and Ema sharing a script as they rehearse a scene.”
Which is what made me realize that maybe live animals aren’t the actual problem. Maybe it’s live actors. Unfortunately, the rest of our production team didn’t get on board with my idea of firing all the human actors and instead making the whole cast adorable dogs. You’ll have to come judge for yourself if keeping the human actors was the right call. Get your tickets today!
It’s that time again! Dust off the props and and let the actors out of their cages: Encore!Encore! is starting rehearsals for our 32nd year!
More exciting than that, we’ve picked a show that’s especially thrilling because…it’s a musical!…
Okay, there are only two songs. But that’s still enough to give our stage manager at least six panic attacks so far!
Of course, our stage manager wasn’t super stable to begin with.
I should know. I am the stage manager.
Why A Musical? (Why, God? Why?)
Encore!Encore! has long wanted to present the great musical(ish) comedy Suite Surrender. A musical is a HUGE undertaking, requiring more rehearsals, more talent, and more work all the way around. This year, it seemed like the right time to finally bring this particularly grand show to Fort Collins.
Most importantly, a musical requires actors who can not only act, but SING!
Sing WHILE ACTING!
That’s a big deal! It’s harder than patting your head and rubbing your stomach.
Where would we possibly be able to find people with that much talent?
Northern Colorado, as it turns out.
In case you didn’t know it, we live in an incredibly talented part of the country. Our whole team was blown away during the audition process. Forget flying to New York! Encore!Encore! is bringing a fabulous musical(ish) to the Lincoln Center. We’ve got the talent, not to mention way better parking than Broadway!
As the stage manager, I’ll be here to bring you all the exciting updates (and panic attacks) of this magically musical journey!
Tickets Available Soon!
Suite Surrender is a hilarious show full of outrageous characters, unexpected twists, humor, and heart! We rate it PG for some mild innuendo. Showtimes are Sept 15th, 16th, 22nd, and 23rd at 7:30pm, and September 24th at 2:00pm.
Get your tickets before they’re gone to this fun and outrageous musical!
At Encore!Encore! we have a proud tradition we like to continue every show and that tradition is NOT getting our director arrested during rehearsal. Yes, in our 30 year history of providing comedy theater here in Fort Collins, we have never yet had a single director handcuffed and carted off to jail.
It doesn’t sound that impressive, but it turns out to be incredibly hard. This year while rehearsing our upcoming show (Norm Foster’s hilarious Screwball Comedy) we almost ruined our streak.
Why Our Director – And Maybe The Whole Cast – Was Almost Arrested
Trying to find a good rehearsal space is hard. If you’ve not done theater before, you might not realize that we don’t get to rehearse on the actual stage, as it is usually being used for another performance while we’re in rehearsals. Most people’s living rooms can’t hold ten actors, a director, an assistant director, and a stage manager. Not that we’re particularly large people, but…some of us are. Most business owners also wouldn’t invite 13 weirdos into their business, let alone 13 weirdos pretending to be other weirdos as the script determines.
This year we were lucky enough to have a business offer us their meeting room to hold rehearsals in. Unfortunately, this business also had excellent security.
On the night of our first rehearsal, we let ourselves into the building using the key we’d been provided, set up our make-shift stage, prayed, and were just about to start rehearsing when a cop knocked on the window and waived the director over to the door.
As it turns out, this building had some sort of silent alarm system that we unknowingly triggered. To make matters worse, we really had an odd — almost unbelievable — excuse for being there. As I listened to the director explaining to the officer that none of us work at this building but we had been given permission to be there after dark, completely unsupervised, in order to rehearse a play, I found myself doubting that it was actually true.
And it didn’t help that we have selected a particularly sketchy-looking group of actors this year.
How We Got Out Of It
As I was trying to find the silver lining — maybe the entire cast getting arrested would be good free publicity — we were saved. Someone from the business had realized what was going on and called the alarm company to let them know it was all a mistake. The alarm company then contacted the police officer to verify that the sketchy-looking group of people actually had permission to be there and no arrests would be necessary.
Which is just as well because I doubt the officer had 13 pairs of handcuffs and, as a stage manager, I can’t imagine anything more undignified than being shackled to an actor.
Screwball Comedy Must Go On
After such a harrowing experience — we were probably minutes away from being arrested as burglars, and amateur ones at that — everyone needed a moment to compose themselves. But as stage manager, I knew our brush with the law had left us behind schedule, so I forced everyone to push through.
As much as I loathe to say anything positive about actors — a good stage manager always keeps actors’ egos in check — the whole cast picked up their scripts, jumped right into character, and had me laughing and enjoying the play in no time!
If our actors can do that after one rehearsal and being threatened with arrest, imagine how great the show will be on opening night!
Assuming I can keep the director out of prison until then.
For more laughs, come see Screwball Comedy at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center this September. Get your tickets now!