Music Theater Event Q&A
Music Theater Event Q&A (printable pdf)
What should I consider when picking my piece to perform for WSMA Solo & Ensemble Festival?
What can I do to better prepare for my music theater performance?
When performing for WSMA festivals, how much of the overall rating is based on the character and blocking?
Do I have to “move”?
What does “blocking” mean in regards to my individual music theatre piece?
Ideally, blocking should enhance the story on the stage by:
- Reflecting the authentic behavior of the characters — a character’s movements can reveal just as much and sometimes more than his or her words do.
- Reflecting the relationships between and among characters.
- Giving the focus to certain characters at appropriate moments (helping the audience know where to look).
- Allowing the audience to see what they are supposed to see and not what is meant to be hidden — either as part of the play or an accidental peek backstage.
- Creating effective stage pictures — strong, pleasing, horrific — that convey the meanings and moods of the play.
Is it ok to sing/act my song directly to the judge?
Should I keep one basic “focus point” during my performance?
Do I have to wear a costume or use a prop?
- Costumes – Remember that if you choose to wear a costume, make sure it supports the quality of your performance. An inappropriate or poorly fitting costume may detract from the overall performance. You should also practice your piece while in costume to make sure it does not inhibit your movement.
- Props – Less is more! Only have them if you are going to actively use them as part of the performance.
Both costumes and props can be very effective tools to support your performance, but you are being evaluated on your performance, not your ability to find the perfect costume/prop.
What information should be included in the introduction?
- Introduce yourself and the school you represent
- Tell us the title of your song, the show it is from, and the character you are playing
Then, instead of telling us “something interesting about the piece,” set the scene.
- Share pertinent information needed to understand the context of the song.
- Provide accurate information to demonstrate that you understand the character and the purpose of the song within the context of the show.
- MAKE SURE YOU KNOW THE SHOW. Inaccurate information is a bad first impression!
Some students present this information in character and/or as short original monologue. That is great, but not required. Also, while the song itself must be memorized, the introduction can be written out.
What are some common pitfalls in this event?
- Not researching the character or show.
- Moving unnecessarily or without purpose.
- Going in and out of character.
- Not committing to focal points.
- Choosing a piece that does not fit you.
What are some common strengths in this event?
- Commitment to the character.
- Energy appropriate for the piece.
- Understanding the motivation of the character within the context of the whole show, not just in this chosen song.
- Well developed vocal technique.
- Consistency and commitment to focal points.
- Movement that is meaningful.