With The Drowsy Chaperone in full swing, Hilary Adams now has a full production under her belt as the new Omaha Playhouse Artistic Director. Adams talked with me about the process of getting Drowsy on its feet and the implementation of various new tweaks to the Playhouse process.
Adams said the biggest challenge in bring The Drowsy Chaperone to life was managing all of the choreography.
“It’s the sheer amount of dancing,” she said. “It’s back to back dances which are stylized and specific. They take quite a lot of time to learn. Our choreographer Roxanne Nielsen has done a brilliant job with the company. I feel really fortunate, it’s an incredible cast. We have a combination of veterans who’ve been on stages before as well plenty of new faces. They’ve been a joy to work with.”
It’s been a return to normalcy in a way for Adams. She finally gets to work on what she was hired to do in the first place: direct.
“At the end of a day, there’s nothing better than getting into a rehearsal room,” she said. “Getting to be a director here for the first time has been a joy. The production team and cast have been incredibly supportive. They’ve taken me through the Playhouse process and now we have a gorgeous musical on our hands.”
The Drowsy Chaperone was also one of the first production to feautre the Playhouse’s newly modified audition process. The process brings auditionees in one by one to showcase in front the directors rather than bringing everyone in one big group. It’s a similary style to the auditions that the BLUEBARN Theatre utalizes.
“What we’re doing is making it an intimate casting process where people feel comfortable and safe but one that also gives everyone a chance to shine and show what they can do,” Adams said.
Another tweak the Playhouse is introducing is the expansion of the Playhouse’s alternative programming. Mainstays like the 21 & Over reading series and Live Broadway Karaoke will remain while many other programs will get a test run including a play development program with The Great Plains Theatre Conference and a Joni Mitchell tribute cabaret. The goal is for the eventual Associate Artistic Director to take over and manage the program.
More information on The Drowsy Chaperone and the alternative programming can be found at www.omahaplayhouse.com
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