The people started sitting down on the other side of the curtain as the director rushed around frantically making sure all of the cast was ready.
“Okay, so is the house prop out on stage?” she asked one actor. “Is your hat fixed?” she asked another. The youngest actor stood shyly against the backstage wall looking fearful. “You stay back here until scene two, then come out. After she’s finished talking, come backstage until scene four. Do not worry, you will be fine. You will do wonderfully!” Then she turned toward the curtain manager and called, “Open the curtain!” the curtain opened and the show began.
Okay, so you are probably wondering what I am talking about. I was talking about myself, the busy director, before a home play. Today I am going to share about home plays, something that I really enjoy. This is how I do them.
1. Find a cast
You can not do a play if you do not have actors, period. You have to have people to play the parts. Usually my cast is my siblings and a friend.
2. Find a story
The next step in a home play in getting a good story. I use stories from movies, podcasts, or my own imagination. Stories from books also could work, if you have enough people in your cast to do it.
Now it is time to decide who gets each part. This is tricky, but here are some steps I use.
a. Is she the same age as the character?
b. Is she as tall or short as the character?
c. Does she act like the character?
Once you have found a good fit for each character, it is time for the next step.
I am the director because I love to take command. I am in charge of delivering scripts to the cast, so I carefully write down each line for every character. (Some might find this task boring, but I find it fun. I love every aspect of plays and acting.) Once carefully copied and edited, I give the lines to the cast for them to practice.
Have you ever done costuming? It is so fun! I raid all of my sister’s closets searching for the perfect clothes for each character. Not only does the outfit have to look right, it has to fit right as well. It would not look good if all of the actors were on stage in oversized clothes! You also need to decide how each actor’s hair will be styled at showtime. Once you have completed this challenge, it is time for…
Now it is time to get all of the props you will need onstage. There is no telling what all you will need, maybe a house, a bush, a shelf, or anything under the sun! There also is no telling what you will make the props out of either. I have used hard paper, soft paper, a dry erase board and markers, blankets, and much more. Props are so very fun to make, especially when they turn out looking very realistic.
Once all of the actors have their lines memorized, it is time to get a date for your show. The sooner the better in my opinion! Sometimes it is hard working around lots of schedules, but it is well worth it! Decide exactly what time of the day the play will begin and invite any guests you want to come.
Make sure you have all the props in place and costumes on by showtime! Oh, and remember, when it comes to plays, never give up. After all,
The Show Must Go On!