Behind The Scenes

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 [...]

Spotlight on: Daniel Hughes, Vocal Director for She Loves Me

By |2020-01-31T21:18:09-08:00January 31st, 2020|2019-2020 Season, Behind The Scenes, Meet The Cast, Photos, Video Link|

Vocal Director Daniel Hughes is interviewed for the latest installment in SBMT's series on "The Art of Theatre." He discusses his involvement with the musical SHE LOVES ME, answering questions about the composers and their music, specific songs from the show, the use of harmony, and the role of a Vocal Director. He says he loves this production because of the talented cast, the transformational stories, the clever lyrics, and the satisfying escape it provides from the harsh realities of today's world. SHE LOVES ME continues its run at the Saratoga Civic Theater, 13777 Fruitvale Ave., Saratoga, CA now through Saturday, [...]

Spotlight on: Joe Kelly, Music Director for SHE LOVES ME

By |2020-01-23T06:33:37-08:00January 23rd, 2020|2019-2020 Season, Behind The Scenes, Photos, Video Link|

Joseph Kelly, whose past work as Music Director for South Bay Musical Theatre has twice been nominated as a Theatre Bay Area finalist, tackles another tuneful score with the show SHE LOVES ME, running January 25 through February 15, 2020 at the Saratoga Civic Theater. In this interview, Joe shares his thoughts on the show's composers, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (better known for Fiddler on the Roof). He reveals his favorite song from the show (which may surprise you!) and talks not only about the show's journey to Broadway but also his own journey from French horn player to Music [...]

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