Notes From the 2014 Southeastern Theatre Conference
Our team just got back from a week of learning and making new friends at the 2014 Southeastern Theatre Conference. It was our first time attending, and, wow, was it a great experience! We met a ton of directors, actors, scenic artists, and stage managers. We also met many companies that provide awesome services to the theatrical, dance and special event communities. If you were able to attend, you know about all off the great things that were buzzing around Mobile. If not, we have a rundown of our week and some of the neat things that we learned.
Scripts, Licensing, and More
From a licensing and script standpoint, we had some awesome conversations with representatives from Steele Spring Stage Rights, Samuel French, and Disney Theatrical Licensing. We are happy to report that each has some exciting new shows on the horizon.
Soon, we will all have access to even more versions of some of the hottest Disney musicals out there. High school directors will be able to secure rights to MARY POPPINS later in 2014. (Don’t worry – we will have a show package full of MARY POPPINS backdrops available for you this year also!) In addition, THE LITTLE MERMAID will soon be available to high schools and community theaters across the nation. The junior versions of this musical are already out there, but we are all looking forward to the release of the more advanced script.
Samuel French is well known for providing rights to classics like GREASE. However, if you want something a little more contemporary you should really check out 4000 MILES, which tells the story about a young man and his grandmother growing and coming together in modern day New York. If you are in search of a script that highlights a coming of age, you may want to consider ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Both scripts should heat up in 2014.
Steele Spring Stage Rights is a Los Angeles-based licensing company. They have a knack for finding plays and musicals that have an upbeat tone and use popular musical numbers from artists that most everyone is familiar with. If you are looking for something in the realm of Americana, check out any of their scripts featuring The Marvelous Wonderettes. There are several to choose from and each delivers a good dose of doo wop and fun. Steele Spring is a great resource for high school and middle school teachers looking for budget-friendly scripts.
Having trouble keeping your productions organized? Excel just not cutting it for you? Take a look at what the team from ProPared put together. ProPared designed their software to help theatrical professionals organize schedules and communication. Event Planners have also embraced the program. (Planning a large scale event is actually a lot like planning a stage show!) New York City even used them this past holiday season to coordinate holiday displays and events around the Big Apple.
SETC afforded us the opportunity to meet new friends from across the country. For example, at our booth, we had a selection of songs from our favorite musicals playing. One of these songs was Oh The Things You Can Think from SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL. We were pleasantly surprised when none other than Shorey Walker popped by the booth, and, with a smile, let us know that she was singing on the track. Shorey played The Cat In The Hat in the off-Broadway revival of the show. She was at SETC to learn and let others know about the theatrical workshops that she hosts with ActorsConnection.
Similarly, meeting the casts and crews that use our backdrops is a special kind of thrill. We couldn’t have been happier than when a pair of young actresses stopped by our booth and pointed towards our assortment of customer spotlight photos. They were most enamored with one particular photo, because they were in it! The ladies were even kind enough to take a photo next to our image of them performing in THE TEMPEST. Certainly, getting to meet and talk to the actors, directors and stage managers is always a treat!
If you made it out to Southeastern Theatre Conference 2014, we hope that you were able to attend all of the workshops, keynotes, and mixers that you had on your docket. Furthermore, if you broke a leg at an audition, we would like to wish you the best of luck in your upcoming production. The conference was a great experience for us here at TheatreWorld Backdrops. We look forward to learning and making more friends via the Southeastern Theatre Conference in the future!