Monday, July 25, 2016
Minnesota Fringe Festival 2016 - Previews - Advice to the Players
Night two of the Fringe Previews is upon us. Time to kick this blog into gear. But first, based on what I saw last week, a word of advice to the 30 companies previewing tonight: It's not a good preview if we can't see you. The Rarig Thrust has audience on three sides, and yes, the bulk of the audience is sitting right in front of you. And yes, most of you will not be performing on a thrust stage. But consider it practice. The three minutes you're doing is already out of context. You can make another adjustment or two for the good of your show. Here's a rule of thumb, if you're not breaking the line of the proscenium arch, then you're too far upstage and most of the people on the sides can't see you. Some poor guy near me last week really wanted to see the Charles Schulz stand-in drawing his Charlie Brown sketch but the pad and easel (I'm assuming it was a pad and easel, since I never actually saw it) were so far upstage, old Charlie walked upstage and right out of site, for the remainder of his preview. And I'd be willing to bet the live drawing on stage schtick was supposed to be a big part of the draw for the show. Oh well. The Schulz show was not the only offender by a long shot, just a handy example. The one show that changed my mind from, "I have no idea who they are or what this show's about so, eh, whatever" to "Wow, I might actually like that, I should put them on my list" was a preview where the guy knew how to work the audience, ALL the audience - A Pie. A Duck. And A Shoe. So a preview can really work for you. But I need to be able to see it. Walk downstage. Stay there.