Friday, March 2, 2012

What's to Love About a Pre-Show Speech?

One of my on-again-off-again jobs with BoHo is to create the pre-show announcements. The pre-show announcement should usher the audience into the show by creating a mood for the show while disseminating information to the audience (turn off cell phones, no pics, turn off cell phones, unwrap candies, and did I mention, please turn off your cell phones?). To me, it’s an art form in itself. Finding the right language, the right words, the right tone intrigues me because I love to play with words and ideas finding the right fit that represents the director’s concept and the actors who will be joining us to live in the world they’ve created.

The creation of the pre-show announcement reinforces the art we’d like to share in all its complexities, and with the pre-show announcement, we’re also beginning to work on the pre-show experience. We've had hints of pre-show announcements and concepts that have worked in the past– the pre-show announcement for The Wild Party came through the radio on stage, there was popcorn popped before Side Show so that audiences had the olfactory senses aroused, and for those of you who came to see Big River, there were fireflies in the Spanish moss that hung from the light grid to add to the ambiance along with panoramic photos of the Mississippi. My goal, now, is to try to incorporate all of the best of these ideas into every show we do. So, next time you’re at a BoHo show, that voice you first hear is probably mine.

-- Tom Samorian, Executive Advisor to BoHoTheatre

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