Can you please explain what Broadway Goes A Cappella is for the people that have no idea?
Ever since I heard that In Transit (Broadway's first all a cappella musical) was finally coming to Broadway, I knew I wanted to do a show of Broadway tunes performed completely a cappella.
Both Broadway and A Cappella people are so fervent in loving their community and this show was my way for them to meet and geek out together.
There's a wonderful line from In Transit saying that when something is true and is set to music, it becomes more true.
"When something true gets set to music and put on stage, it becomes more true. And it's amazing to be a part of that."
I think that sentiment goes even further when it's a cappella; pure human expression. There is a certain magic in being able to create harmony without anything besides each other. Put another way: we cannot create harmony without each other.
One might say we're "stronger together" -that one was for you, Jared. (I was a very large supporter of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton for President in 2016 - Jared)
Anyway, I got in touch with In Transit, primarily creator Sara Wordsworth and producer Janet Brickner Rosen, to see if I could get the cast to sing as our finale
(Incidentally, their beatboxer couldn't make it and they asked me to sit in about a few hours before the show. Exhilarating and terrifying!)
To get back on topic, I called a bunch of friends, who are the most talented people I know, picked some of my favorite songs, got some arranging help from Tom Anderson (swingles, Peter Hollens), Ben Bram (Pentatonix), and Christopher given Harrison (Arora), rehearsed once for one hour per song and sold out 54Below.
Now, we're making a cast
What advice would you have for someone who wants to bring a new kind of show to the stage?
I think the best way to try something new is to try it. Get some friends, book a space, and get it up on its feet.
Doing whatever you're doing as a charity event/benefit is a great way to do things cheaply and do some good in the world. This way, while you're still experimenting with making stuff work, you can get people in the seats without feeling like you're wasting their money!
Do things and don't not do things.
How hard is it for someone who's still pretty young to make it so far?
How hard is it? I think it's as hard as you make it/as hard as it has to be.
I honestly think it's easier than ever to make the cool stuff you come up with. There are so many avenues into whatever it is you want to do.
A good rule of thumb is do what you want and make it the way you want to make it. The second you start trying to cater to what you think people want, you've diluted what made your thing special. Chances are your idea of what people want will be wrong. I've found that people want to see passion and originality in whatever form it happens to come in.
Whenever I catch myself saying, "you know 'they' should do/make X", that's my next project.
What have you learned in the process of putting the show together?
I've learned that putting stuff together with your friends feels a lot like recess in elementary school.
Logistically, have some money set aside for incidentals that you didn't budget for. You will most likely need it (an extra rehearsal hour, water bottles, parking, etc) and if you don't use it, you win.
The better you plan, the better prepare you will be when things happen. And things will happen. No matter how solid your plan is, things will happen.
I'd recommend preparing for as many scenarios as you can think of. An extremely well thought out and tight plan may come back to bite you when a deviation occurs. Leaving a bit of wiggle room to improvise makes me feel safer.
What has been your favorite part of the construction of the show/rehearsal process?
My favorite part is seeing and hanging out with friends making cool stuff. Seeing your work performed by the best singers in one of the best houses ain't so bad either!
I love being in production: late night writing sessions, the silliness that always comes out during a long rehearsal day, hearing that section you were scared about landing being slayed for the first time. I tend to get very romantic about the process.
I must've cried half a dozen times at Broadway Goes A Cappella, but only twice on stage. So, that's a win!
A college student at SUNY Purchase, I see many shows on Broadway annually and love theatre.