Open Forum

Oh No, Not Again

  • 1.  Oh No, Not Again

    Posted 01-09-2019 15:23
    ​Greetings fellow theatre lovers, educators and professionals,

    I thought it might be fun to open the discussion about shows that are overdone. What do you think are the most overdone shows that when you hear the name makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up? On the other hand, what gems of productions are under produced?

    And go!

    Crit Fisher
    Lighting/Sound Designer
    New Albany High School

  • 2.  RE: Oh No, Not Again

    Posted 01-09-2019 17:28
    Peter and the Starcatcher is so overdone right now. But I'd love to see more productions of Begets, by the same author of She Kills Monsters.

    Becca Lillias

  • 3.  RE: Oh No, Not Again

    Posted 01-10-2019 10:00

    The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, most of Rogers and Hammersteins' popular hits, and all things Disney Jr. 


    David Simpson
    Performing Arts Center Manager
    East China Schools
    East China MI

  • 4.  RE: Oh No, Not Again

    Posted 01-10-2019 10:46
    Is it wrong that I'm going to start watching this thread to get ideas for my next show?

    Shows are "overdone" because they have audience appeal. A theater near here has done "A Christmas Carol" three years in a row, and still sells out. When we do a Disney Junior show, we get our best audience numbers AND the most enthusiastic turnout at auditions. Some of the shows I'm most proud of were very poorly attended, simply because no one had heard of them.

    I'll suggest that "overdone" is a mindset that you can choose to dismiss. Sure, there are great shows out there that no one has heard of, and it's great to do them once in a while to broaden your community's experience. But your audiences want you to do "The Sound of Music" and "Beauty and the Beast." And they're overdone because they're marvelous shows.

    Josh Kauffman
    Winfield AL

  • 5.  RE: Oh No, Not Again

    Posted 01-10-2019 12:02
    I guess Annie is the one musical I dread seeing (or ever doing) again. We all have our reasons for doing it and it's a wonderful show but it's tomorrow and the sun came out.

    There are some great Moliere plays that rarely get produced. The Prodigious Snob (Miles Malleson translation of Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme) is one of my favorites. Large, flexible cast - a lot of fun.

  • 6.  RE: Oh No, Not Again

    Posted 01-10-2019 14:42
    I'm tempted to be a crank and say anything on the top 10 lists, but we've done a show from each category in the past few years, so I can't get too snobby about it.

    That said, I never need to see Seussical or Annie again. And I've never understood the point of Alice in Wonderland (or read a version that seemed worth doing). Oh, and plays for high school that feature bickering narrators (though, again, we did a play that had this – I guess it's new to the students, but I've read too many scripts that rely on that bit for humor).

    Now to get snobby: for under produced shows, anything that deals with high school life in a realistic, complex, and non-moralistic way, and plays that challenge both the actors and the audience (Wit comes immediately to mind).

    And I'll agree with Josh – some shows are overdone because they're fun to do or the audience wants to see them. While I'd rather do something deep and hard hitting, I realize there is value in doing something that is just fun and goofy.

    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA

    Theater kills ignorance

  • 7.  RE: Oh No, Not Again

    Posted 01-10-2019 20:19
    In my experience "overdone or not" all depends on the audience.

    For instance, I worked with a big community theater here in the SF Bay Area for about ten years. Now, understand that there are about a million community theaters around here, but each one sits in a given area, and the demographics are different. "My" theater was doing really well for twenty-odd years doing mostly the standard plays and musicals at the rate of four or five a year: they were well attended and the theater had a solid base of supporters, season ticket holders, and donors. Not making a fortune, but it was adequate to support some large shows and hire professional designers.

    Then a new artistic director came in who had previously been with a theater in another part of the Bay Area. The new AD wanted to change the programming to be more in line with the "deep" or "challenging" seasons offered elsewhere, but did not take the time to understand the local audience. Nothing wrong with the shows: they were fine, but not what our audiences wanted to see (they would have gone over really well, say, in Berkeley or a few other locations). A couple of years later, admissions had dropped radically and season subscribers and donors had dropped out by the bushel. A couple after that, the theater had gone from five shows a year to three and was in danger of closing due to lack of revenue.

    So I guess the moral of the story is that overdone or not depends on the audience.

    George F. Ledo
    Set designer