kasey schumacher | social cues | aug. 2019
Returning to the Meyer Theatre stage and performing in “Little Chutes and Laddersâ€ last month reminded me of the fact that many people ask questions about the show, our process, how auditions work, etc. during the “receiving lineâ€ after a show. Being away from the performances made me forget how often people want to know how things operate for LMBF's. I thought I would do a little fact vs. fiction segment this month and fill you in on some frequently asked questions and bust some myths about us!
- 1.Fact or Fiction: There is no script.
This is entirely false! While we love to ad lib and we frequently venture away from the script, it would be impossible to put together a two-hour show without a script. I think people might be surprised to see the initial script and then see a final show because there are additions, subtractions and a few changes. However, there IS a script and it's usually about 14-15 pages long. It includes stage directions, light cues and blocking indications.
- 2.Fact or Fiction: Each cast member has to audition for each show.
This is also not true! Most of us auditioned one time for Frank, Amy and Pat. Some of us (like myself) were seen in another production by Frank, Amy or Pat and so our audition wasn't that intense because they already knew what we had to offer. My audition for LMBF was in January of 2013 – I was a senior in college – and I sang about 30 seconds of the song “Somebody to Loveâ€ by Queen and Frank hired me on the spot as a full-time cast member. We don't have to re-audition for each new show we do as a group.
- 3.Fact or Fiction: We have a lot of freedom with our characters.
Frank and Pat usually share a brief description of what they're looking for with a character, but a huge part of each character comes from the cast member portraying it. If there's a specific accent, or physical trait or personality quirk that they want us to do, we're obviously told that. But, we are given a lot of freedom to shape our characters ourselves. Even with costumes, we'll be told to find something “early 1970sâ€ and then we're allowed to search for something we like and feel comfortable in, and then get it approved.
- 4.Fact or Fiction: Each show is written months in advance.
You might be surprised to learn that Frank usually has a one show lead time! While we're performing one show, he writes the next show. The show's title and music genre is chosen about 12-18 months in advance for marketing purposes. However, the script, music set list and premise of the show comes together very shortly before we start rehearsals for the show itself.
- 5.Fact or Fiction: We do all of our own set changes.
This is true! We do not have a stage manager, or stage crew moving set pieces or pulling the curtain or changing the backdrop during a show – we all do it ourselves! I have been in charge of pulling the curtain multiple times after going off stage after a scene. We all contribute quite a bit to the backstage duties.
- 6.Fact or Fiction: We rehearse at the Meyer Theatre.
This is not true! We have a set rehearsal space and office for LMBF. We rehearse at our LMBF office for three full weeks (we rehearse Sunday through Thursday evenings) leading up to a show. After that, we have one week where we move to and rehearse at the Meyer Theatre Sunday through Wednesday. Next comes a dress rehearsal on Thursday and finally we open the show with a Friday and Saturday performance. We just recently moved to a new rehearsal space after our former leased space of 13 years – the way old Packers Hall of Fame by the Resch Center – was set to be demolished along with the Brown County Arena.
Kasey Schumacher is the marketing director for Let Me Be Frank Productions by day and a performer for the troupe by night. When she isn't updating Facebook or singing a 1970s classic, she enjoys running, cooking, questioning final rose picks on 'The Bachelorâ€ and planning overly extravagant trips to Disney.