A Chorus Line - High School Edition - May 30 - June 02, 2019

UNCSA Acting Out

 End Notes 

From the Director:


A Chorus Line first premiered in 1975 at the New York Shakespeare Festival. The theatre industry, and Broadway, at least as we know it today, was hurting badly. People simply didn't have the appetite for big musicals that they once did. Since musicals were (and still are) the powerhouse of any theatre community, the lack of theatre-goers meant sharply declining budgets, which ultimately led to an inability to produce such musicals anyway. With the golden years of the 1950's far in the rear view, people were looking for something immediate. Something that spoke to the modernity of the rapidly changing world around them. It had become increasingly difficult for the theatre to compete with mass-produced entertainment on the booming Hollywood scale. In fact, the very first "blockbuster" film, a little movie called "Jaws" came out just a month before A Chorus Line.


What Michael Bennett did with A Chorus Line was shine a light on the inner workings of that struggle. He turned the focus onto some of the people suffering the most. The people who were literally putting their health, and their sanity, and their lives on the line for the sake of their art: The chronically underemployed and vastly underpaid, and underappreciated chorus. 


A Chorus Line is about dying for your passion. It is about sacrifice and putting in the work. There is no individual glory at the end. No trophy, no standing ovation. Just a job. And a chance to scratch some inner itch that all artists can relate to, but can only be explained to those who have felt it. In our time, where children are being asked to grow up at younger and younger ages, our production carries a particular poignancy. It can be jarring, at times, seeing these youngsters take on such adult wants and needs. But then, that is what is expected of them. Far too often.



From the Program Director:


We at Acting Out are constantly adjusting and reacting to the changing landscape of the business of theatre. It is our desire to train young actors from different backgrounds and present shows that reflect our community: vibrant, diverse, edgy, and somewhat non-conformist. In our casting of A Chorus Line: High School Edition we concerned ourselves with the story of the individual characters struggling to reveal themselves to the director and perhaps even themselves. There are roles in the original production that specify casting with certain physical traits, sexual preferences or ethnicities. The playwrights have offered alternative dialogue for certain roles in order to accommodate casting. We have chosen to use some of the alternative dialogue in order to serve what we felt was the greatest struggle of the character. Cultural identity isn’t necessarily what we see. Students cast in roles beyond their scope of experience will have the rich opportunity to delve into research of these cultures and stories to serve their character. Through exposure to this diversity, we know that our cast and crew have grown as a humans being as well as an artists.

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