The Hartsbrook High School’s annual theater production is March 5-8.
We are very excited about the work this week on this play!

This year Hartsbrook High School has introduced a new director, Brianna Sloane. Brianna has brought out wonderful enthusiasm and creativity in us with her unique approach to developing theatrical productions. She started TheaterTruck, a theater collective that she along with other local artists founded in 2014. According to TheaterTruck’s website, “We are inspired by the idea of the town common: a place for shared experiences & ideas; and by the pageant wagons of history that carried entertainment to the people.” Although TheaterTruck isn’t directly relevant to our play, it inspires Brianna who directly inspires us.

What is unique to this production besides our newfound director is that it doesn’t actually have a traditional script. Instead, the cast is developing the script as they go along. Brianna tells us, “We are creating an original piece of musical theatre through a process called ‘devising.’
Every devised theatre process is unique – for this one I am leading students in responses to prompts, physical character development, status work, improvisation and scene writing. We started with The Wizard of Oz for inspiration and a lot of the music in the show comes from the 1939 movie. But the story is not Wizard, and neither are the characters, though we do have some tie-ins the audience will recognize. We hope it will be fun to hear the familiar songs in a totally new context!

We also used Wizard to draw our themes from. We have selected songs and built characters out of consideration of the ideas of ‘home’, and what’s ‘over the rainbow,’ and we are exploring the themes of ‘transformation/magic’ and ‘courage.’ The play takes place in a Vaudeville playhouse, with characters you might have met there. We are exploring stories about what life was like for performers who were on the road most weeks of the year, sometimes with their whole families, performing as a profession. We are also building characters around the people who run the stage, the management and stagehands, for example. There’s lots of great music, dancing and big, interesting characters being built!”
We are looking forward to seeing all of this hard work come together in the next few weeks and we look forward to sharing our production with the Hartsbrook community.
Program Committee