Open Forum

Assassins

  • 1.  Assassins

    Posted 05-26-2020 08:32
    Good morning,

    I wanted to see if anyone on here has produced, or thought about producing Sondheim's Assassins? I love the music and how the stories weave together. I have students who sing the songs for auditions and have used the monologues. I just haven't seen it done for years. Look forward to your stories.

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    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School
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  • 2.  RE: Assassins

    Posted 05-26-2020 11:27
    Have not done it as a theater teacher. I'd be hesitant to do it where I am, due to the content and language. Our program (at the urging of admin) steers away from confrontational content.

    That said, it's a fantastic show with the bones to create a wonderful ensemble. I was in a production of it in college. We did it in the black box, with the audience on swivel stools in the center of the room and the actors playing around them on all sides in a "circle of violence" concept.

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    Josh Kauffman
    Teacher, Thespian Society/Drama Club sponsor
    Winfield City Schools
    Winfield, AL
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  • 3.  RE: Assassins

    Posted 05-26-2020 13:53
    I produced and acted in Assassins with my community theater company during the summer of 2018. I love the show but some of the content and language might be too much for many high schools. I think if the director has a clear and consistent concept of what he/she wants to say, the show can be very powerful. Unfortunately many audience members don't/won't/can't look past the line "come on and shoot a president" in the opening song into the deeper meanings of the show as a whole. Sondheim, as in most of his shows, has a lot more to say in Assassins than the lyrics might suggest on a surface reading. If you can get your audience to give the show a chance, Assassins can provide a great teaching opportunity.

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    Tim Buchheit, Director
    Department of Theatre and Speech
    St. Francis Borgia Regional High School
    Washington, Mo.
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  • 4.  RE: Assassins

    Posted 27 days ago
    @CritFisher

    I saw a college production of Assassins where they used their fingers as guns. It was so powerful without the added upset to the audience about pointing guns at people.

    Maria Stadtmueller
    St. Augustine School
    Kendall Park, NJ

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  • 5.  RE: Assassins

    Posted 26 days ago
    Actually a really good idea. Using fingers as guns. In this day and age. Besides my school security will go ballistic. I had to turn in the murder weapons from Clue each evening to be locked up. While the students were rehearsing, they almost pulled their weapons on the students.

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    Dewey Oriente
    Head of Drama
    Jack M Barrack Hebrew Academy
    Bryn Mawr, PA
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  • 6.  RE: Assassins

    Posted 27 days ago
    I produced and directed Assassins about 30 years ago with high school students. My school is a private Jewish Day school. It was well received by both students and audience. The message was carried into many of the history classes for class discussions. In fact, I am considering it again this year. I think it would easily transfer to on line if need be.

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    Dewey Oriente
    Head of Drama
    Jack M Barrack Hebrew Academy
    Bryn Mawr, PA
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  • 7.  RE: Assassins

    Posted 27 days ago
    I like the finger as the gun.

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    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School
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  • 8.  RE: Assassins

    Posted 25 days ago
    I performed in the show about 15 years ago.  We had a terrific director, music director, and performing ensemble, so it was a fantastic experience for me.  Over the years, some of my students have performed numbers from the show for adjudication at Thespian conferences.  However, knowing my administration, my audience, and my community, I would never produce the full show at my school.  I would only recommend it as a school show for extremely sophisticated programs and audiences where there is already a track record of such language and material not causing controversy.

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    Jeff Grove
    Theatre Teacher, Aesthetics Department Chair
    Stanton College Preparatory School
    Jacksonville FL
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