The Studio Opening Weekend Party: A Q&A with the Directors
Reopening Weekend Interviews
Charissa Word - Musical Director of Musical Miscast
Q: So, how long have you been involved with musical direction? I know you’ve taught music before, but is putting a show together like this a first for you?
A: So, this is my second production here that I’ve been a musical director. I did Front Lines with Monica in July, and I’ve directed a few children’s musicals and a high school production back in Arizona.
Q: When were you approached to be the musical director for this show?
A: June? Yeah, June. It was like a “hey, we’re doing this. Do you wanna be the musical director?” Sure! Yes!
Q: Have you done any miscast shows like this before?
A: This is the first time. And it’s hilarious!
Q: Did it take much convincing to get Joey to MC?
A: No, not really. “Hey, Joey, would you like to host this show?” “Sure!”
Q: Take much convincing for him to put on that dress?
Q: What’s been the highlight of the rehearsal process?
A: I think seeing people come out of their shells and embracing a role they normally wouldn’t get to do.
Q: Similarly, what’s been your favorite singer/song pairing from this group?
A: “Cell Block Tango!” Without question, “Cell Block Tango”.
Q: It’s not really a miscast cabaret without a bunch of dudes doing “Cell Block Tango,” is it?
A: It’s totally miscast, but you guys have completely embraced it. It’s fantastic.
Q: Fill in the blank: “If I had a solo number in this show, it would be [blank]”
A: “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. It’s one of my favorite songs ever, and I would never get to play the Phantom, you know?
Q: What can the audience expect from this show?
A: The audience can expect a lot of talent, a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, and a nice variety of music from shows...they’re all Broadway shows, but they have different themes and styles.
Q: Give me your best sales pitch: why should people come to the cabaret on Friday night?
A: It will be a night full of incredibly talented performers singing songs that you know and love, in a way you’ve never seen done before. Abby, why do you think people should come see the show?
Abby (Charissa’s five-year-old daughter): So they can see how much we sing so well, and how we dance so well.
Katie Foster - Director/Person-in-Charge of the Stay Up Late Pride Show
Q: Where did the idea for this show come from?
A: I got the idea from, I stole the idea from doing the Robin Williams tribute in high school because I love using comedy as a way to benefit a cause. And I have so many talented friends that are part of the LGBT community, and I wanted a chance to showcase them, and for others to see how talented my friends are.
Q: You’ve done comedy work before, you’ve written and performed with the Interabang Comedy troupe in the past. Do you take anything from working with them and apply it here, or is it a clean slate?
A: I think it’s probably a clean slate because I didn’t get much opportunity in Interabang to, like, be myself and talk. I was always sort of playing a character. This is like a brand new thing for me. And it’s exciting.
Q: How did you figure out things like “this is who I want in this show, here’s how much time they’ll have for each set,” and so on?
A: The first person that I put in the show was my friend Nathan, who is doing drag, because I’ve been there for his whole “arc” as a queen, from his first performance to what he’s doing right now. I’m interviewing him during the show and I just thought it was a really important thing too, because people go to drag shows to forget about what’s going on and have fun, and they don’t really know what’s going on with these performers, and they don’t know how they got where they’re at. I think that’s really cool, so I wanted to spend a lot of time with him. The next person was Kevin because at season auditions I heard him talking and I thought he was so funny, and he has a crazy amazing personality, so I thought he’d be perfect. If he wasn’t gonna perform I’d want him there anyway because he’s amazing. The last performers that we have are my friend Bella and her boyfriend, who’s a drag king, and her boyfriend’s doing a number, and she’s gonna be part of the panel discussion. I decided on her being in the show because she was the first LGBT person I knew in high school, and she’s always been a really supportive friend, and she’s hilarious. And I thought ten minutes was just a good time for everybody. It’s not a lot of pressure, and it gives you enough time to show off what you’re doing.
Q: Besides the comedy sets, there will also be a raffle to benefit We Are Family, who Flowertown worked with during The Laramie Project last year. Is that a big motivator, the idea that this isn’t “just” a show, but something that’s helping the community?
A: Yeah. I’ve been interested in comedy since I was like seven years old, and comedy has always helped me through a lot of things. I just, I love helping people out. And comedy’s the thing I love more than anything in the entire world, so that was the first thing I went to to benefit them, and they’re an amazing charity. People love to laugh and enjoy themselves at shows, so that was gonna be a big pool of people coming to see the show, and helping out a charity I really love.
Q: Fill in the blank: “the best part of putting this show together has been [blank].”
A: It was really stressful, but the best part was everything finally coming together after a lot of stress. That’s the best part so far. I’m sure when the performance happens, it’ll be like being surrounded by all my friends who are funny and amazing.
Q: What can the audience expect from the show?
A: Learning more about drag as a performance, hopefully getting a chance to, getting over the apprehension they may have. Lots of fun comedy, and being exposed to performers in the Charleston and Columbia area that could use more exposure.
Q: Give me your best sales pitch: why should people come to this show on Saturday night?
A: Because at the end of the day, it’s helping out a really good cause, and it’s celebrating Pride Month, and that’s just the most important thing of this show, we’re helping out a charity that does amazing work.