What is Takes to Produce a Broadway Musical
In the spring of 2019, Sage Ridge Productions produced the Broadway musical Mamma Mia!. With a hard working cast, crew, and two directors, Michele Crain and Brenda Johns, this production was made possible. The play was performed 6 times in total and took a lot of effort. Despite the challenges they faced, such as memorizing lines, songs, and choreography, Faith Phillips, who starred as Lisa, said “[Being in the play] was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.” The group gained connections and bonded over their love and dedication to theater. Starring in the musical was fun and rewarding despite the challenges they faced along the way.
However, it certainly isn’t just the cast that had to face all that hard work. The crew had to not only literally set the scene for the show but also control lights, perfectly time the music, fix microphones, and so much more to make the musical run smoothly. “To be in crew, it took a lot of patience and organization for me to do my job well so that the directors could do their job better and with ease,” said stage manager Ben Browder. If something went wrong, it was the crew’s duty to fix it quickly so the show can run smoothly and efficiently. But it wasn’t all work. The crew got the experience of being in a show without getting all of the attention, which some people were thankful for! They also got to learn about the technology behind the scenes to make the show work.
The directors were the final piece of the group that were needed to make the show possible. The directors for Mamma Mia! were Michelle Crain and Brenda Johns. There are challenges in every role of the play, and being a director is no exception. “There was a big cast with different skill levels in acting and singing to help. There was also not a consistent attendance, a lack of space, and the means to build a good set,” said Michelle Crain. Although there were challenges that were difficult to conquer, Brenda Johns says “It was very rewarding though. Seeing the kids have an incredible show run, and what it does for them… that’s why we do this.” The popular show with catchy songs was just what the directors wanted and knew the cast would have a blast performing in it. “We also want to live in Greece!” Said both directors. The directors bonded with the kids through being exhausted and delirious, cracking up on stage for no reason, and even someone farting backstage causing his friend to flee from behind the curtain, gasping for fresh air!
All in all, the show required a lot of time, money, patience, support, food, and of course a committed cast and crew.
Written by Sarah Dehnadi and Annie Ravazzini