Behind The Scenes

Interview with Rent’s co-directors

By |2023-09-22T12:24:35-07:00September 22nd, 2023|2023-2024 Season, Behind The Scenes|

The following interview with Jennifer Cuevas and Nicole Tung will appear in the program for SBMT's upcoming production of RENT. Because it's a little longer than the typical "Welcome" letter, we are reprinting it here so that patrons can read it before they come to the theater. Jen and Nicole are the co-directors and co-choreographers for the show. What is your personal history with RENT? Nicole: The first time that I saw RENT was on Broadway. I had sung along with the soundtrack so many times with my roommates in college and felt like I knew and related to these [...]

Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musicals

By |2023-07-30T13:06:05-07:00July 30th, 2023|2018-19 Season, 2023-2024 Season, Behind The Scenes, Blog-erviews!, Opinion|

Timeless Tales of Artistic Triumph: Comparing Rent with other Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway musicals In the 105 years since the first Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded in 1918, only 10 Broadway Musicals have won that honor. SBMT’s upcoming production of Jonathan Larson’s RENT will be the fifth Pulitzer-winning musical to be staged by the company. In this blog post, we will attempt to examine some of the reasons RENT was so honored, and compare it to other musicals in the same elite group.   From the political satire Of Thee I Sing years ago, to last year’s winner, A Strange Loop, [...]

Inside The Grill: Set & Projection Design

By |2022-12-20T10:18:46-08:00December 8th, 2022|2022-2023 Season, Behind The Scenes, Photos|

The Spitfire Grill takes us to a small diner in Wisconsin, 1985.  Gilead is a fictional town, yet grounded in reality. When approaching the initial design work, a few elements were clear — an openness to the set and somehow, a way to bring the powerful impact of Wisconsin nature indoors.  The theme of nature as a healing resource is woven throughout the story. References in song titles, from “This Wide Woods” to “Ring Around the Moon,” and “Colors of Paradise” all hint to the way nature restores and revitalizes. We needed to feature mighty trees, with roots deeply planted, [...]

ON THE TOWN: A Story of Ballet, Battle, Broadway, and a Blockbuster

By |2022-03-31T18:46:43-07:00March 31st, 2022|2021-2022 Season, Behind The Scenes|

by Laura Anne Millar ...  On the Town—the “New York, New York” musical! A fast favorite since 1944, the making of this Broadway hit is a story in its own right. While many musical theatre and movie buffs already know and love the film adaptation, they may not realize this was actually the third iteration of the story. The Broadway musical was the second. Which brings us to our first subject: ballet! The Ballet Fancy Free premiered on April 18, 1944 at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. It was conceived and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and set [...]

In Praise of Understudies

By |2021-12-30T22:48:36-08:00December 29th, 2021|2021-2022 Season, Behind The Scenes|

by Sara K. Dean SBMT Executive Artistic Director The landscape for theatre has changed drastically over the past year. One of the ways that we at South Bay Musical Theatre have improved our practices is through the inclusion of understudies in all our productions. As many Broadway productions are hit with a wave of Covid, the positions of the understudy, swings, and standbys have been heralded as the “bedrock of Broadway.” SBMT recruited understudies most recently for Shout! The Mod Musical and Company, and we are building them into the soon-to-be-announced cast of On The Town. Some people refer to [...]

Comparing Anon(ymous) characters to their Odyssey inspirations

By |2021-03-19T21:46:37-07:00March 19th, 2021|2020-2021 Season, Behind The Scenes|

by Wynne Chan, Dramaturg Editor's Note: This blog compares the modern characters in the play Anon(ymous) with their ancient counterpart in Homer's Odyssey. The character names from Anon(ymous) are shown in red, and the character names from The Odyssey are shown in blue. Origin of characters and their names Anon: Odysseus Odysseus is the protagonist of the Odyssey. In the Odyssey, Odysseus spent 10 years fighting a war in Troy and now embarks on a 10-year journey to return to his kingdom in Ithaca. Odysseus is the husband of Queen Penelope (Note: In Anon(ymous), “Penny” is Anon’s mother). Odysseus is described as [...]

Top Ten Tips for Video Auditions during Quarantine

By |2020-05-03T20:52:53-07:00May 3rd, 2020|2020-2021 Season, Behind The Scenes, Video Link|

Theatre companies, currently dark because of the coronavirus pandemic, are still looking eagerly to the day when they can reopen. To that end, many are conducting online auditions via video submissions, since they cannot hold them in person. If you want to audition while stuck at home, here are some simple tips to help with your setup and your performance. Watch the video, or read the transcript below. THE SET-UP Test your equipment and setup.  Record a few seconds of your audition piece and then play it back, making sure everything works, looks, and sounds properly. Control your environment, paying [...]

Sustaining art… while staying apart

By |2020-04-28T23:26:54-07:00April 28th, 2020|2019-2020 Season, Behind The Scenes, Photos, Video Link|

How I would love a time-travel machine To return us to life before COVID-19. As we wait for a treatment or proven vaccine, How I cherish the freedoms that once seemed routine! If there’s a silver lining to the current health and economic crises gripping California and the rest of the U.S., perhaps it’s a renewed appreciation for the fundamental ideals spelled out in our Declaration of Independence—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We are fighting for all three. At South Bay Musical Theatre, we gratefully acknowledge the medical and scientific community as they work to save lives. We likewise [...]

Maskmaker, maskmaker, make me a mask

By |2020-04-08T17:27:00-07:00April 7th, 2020|2019-2020 Season, Behind The Scenes, Video Link|

In the current pandemic environment, as shows from Broadway to the Bay Area are on hold, theatre costumers find themselves with no costumes to sew. But that doesn’t mean they are letting their talents go begging. Since they can't create costumes, they have found an even more pressing need and are building DIY cotton face masks for the local community. South Bay Musical Theatre artists Mae Heagerty-Matos (costumer), Patricia Bilello (props), and Elyse Cook and Barbara Heninger (performers), have all been creating masks to help fill the urgent need. “Right now, I’m donating masks to all first responders and at-risk people [...]

Spotlight on: Alexandra Teixeira, Stage Manager for She Loves Me

By |2020-02-07T21:12:47-08:00February 7th, 2020|2019-2020 Season, Behind The Scenes, Video Link|

During a busy tech week rehearsal for She Loves Me, we caught Alexandra Teixeira, the show's stage manager, in the theater lobby to ask her about her role and how things were coming along with the show's opening just a few short days away. Over the din of the orchestra playing in the background, she talked to us about her backstage assistants, her favorite parts of the show, the challenges they have discussed, and why people should attend. The show continues through Feb. 15, 2020, at the Saratoga Civic Theater in Saratoga, CA. Tickets at or 408-266-4734. Watch the five [...]

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