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cancelled a show the day before showtime?

  • 1.  cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-07-2019 12:47
    Edited by Krislyn Rowan 05-07-2019 12:47

    Has anyone ever had to cancel a show right before the show date? I teach high school theatre at a very tiny charter school. I had 3 of my actors completely ruin the entire production yesterday due to attitudes and lack of interest. We all worked so hard, and day before show- they basically got the rest of my class to NOT want to perform.
    I am at a complete loss-
    How do I get over this? How can I make it up to the students who worked hard and were prepared? What do I do for the rest of the class for this year?


  • 2.  RE: cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-07-2019 21:02
    Tell everyone to get over themselves. They can’t back out now. A shitty performance will fall back on those few actors who are trying to sabotage the show. Don’t let those other actors be pushed into quitting. Everyone who is willing, do their best.

    Kelly Cardall
    Theatre Arts
    Health and PE Chair
    Mount de Sales Academy
    Baltimore, MD

  • 3.  RE: cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-08-2019 06:02
    I had to cancel a show several years ago when the roof of our theatre was leaking and it was raining on our stage. We canceled hours before we were set to open and held a meeting in the principal's conference room and everyone had an opportunity to express their availability to reschedule. Unfortunately, one of the lead boys had no intention to attend the rescheduled performance and let us move forward with rescheduling without speaking up. He was just going to not show up. Fortunately I was made aware the day before and we pulled someone from the crew who read the lines out of the book. The opportunity motivated her to audition for the cast where she became a leader and her brave performance inspired the rest of our cast to get of their own way. I say replace them with your administrator's support. It was the best thing I ever did.

    Nancy Lomas-Reynolds
    Director and Theatre Coordinator
    Voorhees High School
    Glen Gardner, NJ

  • 4.  RE: cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-09-2019 08:53
    Wow/ Congratulations on your solution. I try to drill in my grandson who participates in theater that he ALWAYS be upfront with anything that might affect a show he's in AS SOON as he's aware of it. They don't think too far beyond themselves at that age and that's something we should be teaching them. I have a whole lecture that I parcel out between visits.

    Not only did you find a new star who might not have surfaced, but you taught a great lesson in maturity.

    I helped in producing a run of new plays at a small theater. One thing I learned from that experience was always to have a readers theater play ready to go under my belt with a list of actors who could do at. We had to substitute very quickly at one of our readings, made some calls to people we knew, and had a great audience for our small space.

    Jean Klein
    Playwright/Founder HaveScripts/BlueMoonPlays
    Playwriting Teacher in MFA program, Wilkes University]
    Virginia BeachVA

  • 5.  RE: cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-08-2019 09:57
    I agree with replacing them.  We did Midsummer a while back and one of our leads was having some issues and we had a kid rehearse all day with the book (his other teachers were generous enough to let him out to rehearse) and he went onstage with a script in hand and it was better than we could've imagined.  He got an uproarious applause and the other students rallied around him to help.  It's a great lesson to teach in my opinion if there are no other options and the current kids are messing it up for others.

    Joel King
    Atlanta GA

  • 6.  RE: cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-08-2019 10:42
    Edited by Kevin Manley 05-08-2019 12:25
    Yep.  Same experience as others with The Tempest.  Ferdinand flaked.  The director took the stage with book in hand and everybody loved it. "The show must go on."  If you can, put a book in somebody's hand and on with it.

    Kevin Manley
    Drama Asst
    San Diego CA

  • 7.  RE: cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-08-2019 17:41
    I strongly advise you not to cancel.  Once you do, that will always be an option and your program will lose all credibility.

    The students who have worked hard deserve their time to shine, and if that means putting people on stage with scripts in hand to stand in for the slackers, so be it.

    C. J. Breland
    Asheville High School
    Asheville NC

  • 8.  RE: cancelled a show the day before showtime?

    Posted 05-08-2019 22:55
    The only thing which ever caused me to cancel a performance was the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989. The performance space was condemned and closed. We still managed to find another space and perform a few weeks later. You've received a lot of good advice here. I agree that once you cancel you have set a dangerous precedent that will not benefit your program. "The show must go on!" is not just something we say....

    Tom Schulz