So What’s The Deal With [TITLE OF SHOW]? An Artistic Director’s Perspective.

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Hello. My name is JaceSon Barrus. I am one of the Co-Producers at Plaza Theatre Company and I serve as Artistic Director for our theatre group. [TITLE OF SHOW] is our 62nd production here at Plaza Theatre Company. During our run of nearly six years we’ve produced many classics, some newer material, had a lot of laughs and enjoyed our share of growth and success, both financially and artistically. We’ve watched as the Company has won Awards and surpassed 1,100 Season Ticket holders annually, all in our small town just south of Fort Worth called Cleburne.

I think it is safe to say that no production from among our first 62 has engendered as strong a response, both negative and positive, as our current production of [TITLE OF SHOW]. Additionally, I have been asked many times some form of the question, “why this show?” So that is why I am contributing to this blog today: To address the question of “why this show” and perhaps to encourage those who may be on the fence to be willing to try something a little new.

As is the case with many small community theatre groups, those of us in charge wear many hats. We answer the phones, sell the tickets, build the sets and costumes, direct and act in the shows, sweep and vacuum the floors, clean the bathrooms, and address the complaints, just to name a few. Such is the case with me as I have worked the Will Call window for this show. Last Friday evening I was working the window when a patron came to pick up her tickets. She asked me for reassurance that the show would be enjoyable as she had brought some guests, and she had never heard of [TITLE OF SHOW]. She shared with me that some friends of hers had already seen the show and that they didn’t care for it. I tried to explain that while the show was a different style, that it still made for a quality experience and sent her in to the theatre. I’ll admit I was a little disheartened. Once the show began, my wife Tina and I ran an errand to the grocery store to pick up a few items for concessions. As we pushed our buggy down the aisle, a woman stopped us to tell us about her experience the night before at [TITLE OF SHOW]. She said she wanted to thank us for being willing to risk trying something new and different and that she hadn’t laughed so hard in years. I was amazed by how passionately she thanked us for producing this somewhat unknown musical.

I relate this story to illustrate a point – that folks are not all going to have the same taste. What one person found disappointing, another found absolutely fabulous. And that is the reason we try to offer a variety of styles with our Season of Shows – to appeal to a broad range of tastes. We have the unique privilege of offering 10 productions a year at PlazaCo. So as Artistic Director and manager of the artistic vision of the Company, it is my job to make sure we offer something special with every title we produce. I believe such is the case with [TITLE OF SHOW].

The show tells the story of four friends on a journey to creating a finished work of art. In this case, a musical. And not just any musical, one that will be different and unique from any other musical ever presented on Broadway. The story is real as it chronicles what actually happened in the process of getting to Broadway. And while some have suggested that a story about actors can only be interesting to actors I say not so. The message of struggle and perseverance eventually culminating in reaching an astonishing goal is universal and, in my view, a story worth telling.

Our last production at PlazaCo was the magnificent THE SOUND OF MUSIC. The show was very popular as we played to 99% capacity during the run of the show. We are extremely proud of that show, the cast and crew, which created such a beautiful and moving experience for our audience. And while we were thrilled at the popular response, I submit that selling tickets and making money isn’t our primary motivation. What drives us, just like the people in the story of [TITLE OF SHOW], is the desire to create something unique. And with this show, the story and the high level of the quality of the direction and the performances, I know we have achieved that.

I know you may disagree with my point-of-view. But how will you know unless you give it a try? I encourage you to give [TITLE OF SHOW] a chance – you just might end up like that lady in the grocery store saying, “I haven’t laughed so hard in years”.

Sincerely,
JaceSon P. Barrus
Plaza Theatre Company – Artistic Director

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  1. Well said. It is an honor to be associated with Plaza in any fashion, in my opinion.

  2. I loved the unique and contemporary feel of Title of Show. I also enjoyed all of the references to other shows and the clever lyrics in the songs. It’s a cutting edge musical!

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