IMG_0820In only one week of running the lottery we’ve had over 800 entries and over 100 winners. I love the energy and camaraderie but most of all I love that more than 800 people learned to sign with us this week. What started as a combined spoken/ASL lottery has now evolved into a full 15 minute ASL lesson on most days.

We have some amazing volunteer teachers from the Sign Language Center who join us for every lottery and teach our fans signs related to the show and their lives. While you wait for the drawing you will find our teachers mingling and teaching, together with our stellar interpreters. It’s incredible to see so many curious people learning a new language together.

I also can’t help but wonder: how many people will we have reached after a few months of this lottery? Possibly tens of thousands.

Due to the warm reception of ASL during the lottery we’re thinking of more ways that Spring Awakening can create opportunities for people to learn how to sign. So stay tuned! I have a feeling it’s only going to get bigger from here.

 

Only 12 days until opening night of Spring Awakening!

 

image1 (1)On Friday afternoon we had our second marketing meeting with all the co-producers of Spring Awakening. These meetings are always exciting and usually result in some big giant last minute projects. The conversation moved from advertisements to sales and then to our digital marketing. Our rockstar marketing team wanted to get our fan club, The Guilty Ones, into the theater for some kind of special event. Of course, never shying from a challenge, we wanted to do it in celebration of our first week. That meant it would have to be planned in . . . two days.

Between all the other challenges of our first week of Broadway performances, we prepared to hold an event in the theater for an unknown number of super fans. We sent out an email to The Guilty Ones and hoped for some interest.

What happened was pretty spectacular.

By 3pm The Guilty Ones were lining up around the block to get their tickets and wrist bands for a post show meet and greet. By the time the show began there were almost 200 super fans in the audience, some of them ready to see the show for the 3rd or 4th time.

The marketing team met us during intermission to finalize the plans. How do we move 200 people onto the stage for pictures without wasting time? How do we make sure they all have access to the photos? Which cast members will be present?

Of course, we can never require our actors to join an event like this. So we were thrilled to see all of them file onto the stage to meet The Guilty Ones and take some photos. Even after the fourth performance in two days, they wanted to show their appreciation.

The meet and greet was a huge hit. All of the fans were able to take photos with the cast, on the stage, and then exit through the stage door like Broadways stars. Isaac (one of the winners of Ken’s tech and pizza contest) has even seen six out of the eight total performances so far.

It leaves us wondering who will the see the show the greatest number of times on Broadway.

Have you joined The Guilty Ones yet? We are already planning our next invitation. 😉

 

13 days until opening night of Spring Awakening!

 

image1I’ve been getting a LOT of questions since our first preview on Tuesday. The response to Spring Awakening has been absolutely remarkable so far. One question that has been coming up in conversation is why don’t we just open? What’s the point of Broadway previews?

The thing is, I never really thought about it. It’s certainly reasonable to wonder why we don’t just open the show after a few nights of previews, but why do we need 3-4 weeks?

Broadway shows have previews so they can continue to make improvements based on how the audience is interacting with the show. Sometimes you don’t know if something is going to work until you put it in front of people. While, from my perspective, Spring Awakening seems like it couldn’t get any better, our creative team is continually making adjustments. You never know when your director will have an epiphany about a particular scene after watching it performed in front of a full house. We want to make sure Michael Arden has an opportunity to bring every brilliant idea to life.

Previews last for weeks, rather than days, because the creative team wants to explore every possibility before the show “freezes.” That’s the point where the cast and creative team commit to their choices and begin to perform the show exactly the same way every single night.

So we have previews in order to discover what works, and then cement it into the performance for the rest of our time on Broadway.

 

16 Days until opening night of Spring Awakening!

 

IMG_0790Previews of Spring Awakening have officially begun! Hooray! Now that the show is on its feet things are changing for everyone involved in the production . . . and I don’t mean a vacation. Previews can make or break a show, so we have to be more strategic than ever. That means the cast, crew, and production team are working extra hard to make sure our opening is absolutely perfect. Here are a few examples of what’s happening during our time in previews.

First off, the crew is on call every day to make adjustments and changes to the set, lighting design, sound design and costumes. Our designers and production managers are also watching every performance and the production team holds a meeting every night to talk about potential improvements.

As for the cast, our director, Michael Arden, is continually pushing them throughout previews to maximize their potential. Every night the cast sits down, at the same time as the production team (just on the other side of the theater) and Michael gives each actor notes on what they can improve for the next night. This process sometimes lasts for over an hour. While that may seem like a drag, the cast has such a strong and playful bond with one another that jokes and laughter abound. During one session, Michael corrected one of Camryn’s lines and without missing a beat Marlee threw up her hands and yelled, “Come on!” The cast was in an uproar.

While our audiences are already gushing about how inspired they are by this revival of Spring Awakening, we believe attention to these details right before opening will take our show from amazing to legendary.

 

17 days until opening night of Spring Awakening!

 

first previewWhew . . . what a night. Last night was our first preview and it was a mad dash to the finish line for everyone on the production team of Spring Awakening.

The top priority for the afternoon was making sure we had all the details worked out for our history-making combined ASL and spoken English lottery. I ran all over midtown Manhattan getting supplies, rehearsing my speech in my head (you’d be surprised by how hard it is to find a megaphone). When I returned to the office we designed and printed off our lottery slips and began working on some secret gifts for the first performance (That’s all I’ll say about it!).

Then I took off for the theater, with butterflies in my stomach for the entire walk down 9th Avenue. I’ll be honest, I’ve been on stage many times, in many venues, but a lottery is a whole different animal. There are a LOT of people and a lot of changing variables, so it can’t really be scripted.

Well, we pulled it off without a hitch thanks to our fantastic volunteer signers and reps from the Sign Language Center. PLUS we even had Daniel David Stewart and Joshua Castille, two actors from the show, pulling names and announcing them. You can see the entire lottery video on Periscope and some extra footage will be released soon.

The whole thing was outrageously exciting and got everyone pumped for the performance. After the lottery I viewed the show from the standing room section of the theater. It seems that no matter how many times I see Spring Awakening, there is always something knew to discover, especially after changing seat locations. If you’re able, I highly recommend seeing the show multiple times from different seats.

We once again received THREE ovations throughout the night. The final bows were greeted with over two minutes of straight applause, and I was lucky enough to capture a video of it all. Overall, I couldn’t imagine a more successful first preview.

The best part is, we get to do it all over again tonight. I’m pretty sure that I’m living the dream.

 

18 days until opening night of Spring Awakening!

 
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.