by Brian Christensen and Chris Madsen (the two princes)
Two of the 25 students who participated in the two-week intensive theatre programme at SMUS this summer share their experiences performing in the Victoria Fringe Festival. The student production was of Into The Woods, a musical fairy tale combining a host of familiar characters, including Cinderella, a wicked witch and rival princes.
We joined the SMUS summer musical theatre intensive programme with little knowledge or expectation of what lay ahead in subsequent weeks. Our first few days down in the deep, dark (but joyful, of course) strings room were filled with games and faces from all over Victoria. We broke the ice on the first day by singing in front of each other and playing assorted drama games. In the coming days, the missing actors and actresses arrived from their vacations and previous engagements. After a nerve-racking promo performance at the Fringe Festival preview night, we started our casting for the show. It was a stressful occasion for all, as we got up, once again, in front of each other to sing, only this time it was our audition songs.
The following day, our casting was set, and we began blocking and familiarizing ourselves with our show. That Saturday, we had another promo performance at Market Square, where we presented songs that we had practiced the most in our day-long (but really fun) rehearsals. As soon as that was over, it was crunch time, since opening night for our show was only a few days away.
We raced through scenes with extreme focus, and worked hard to ready the show. Our hours off from rehearsals were filled by time spent with fellow cast members, whom we seemed to never get tired of. Then, though it felt far too soon, opening night was upon us. The next three days of our run went by especially quickly. It was a blast to put on, and it seemed to be well-received by the audience. Overall, it was a different experience for all of us, and we made friendships with people that we wouldn’t have otherwise connected with.