All stories by Kerry Hishon on BroadwayStars

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Why You Need to Rehearse in Your Character’s Shoes by Kerry Hishon

There are so many approaches to developing a character and making them fascinating and engaging. Some methods are more analytical, some are emotional, and some are physical. In this case, th…

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Saturday, January 6, 2018

Exercise: Thinking of Your Character as an Animal by Kerry Hishon

What do the musicals The Little Mermaid, Honk!, and Cats all have in common? They’re all shows that feature actors playing animals. It’s a lot of fun to play non-human characters, but th…

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Reflection: Looking Back and Looking Forward by Kerry Hishon

After a production closes, reflecting on your process and thinking about the future are the natural next steps. They’re definitely an important part of the process, for you as a teacher an…

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Great Storage Struggle: What to Do With All That Stuff by Kerry Hishon

After a show closes, there is often a ton of stuff left over – set pieces and flats, furniture, costume items, props, makeup and hair products… the list goes on and on! Ideally, your sch…

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

How to Deal with Post-Show Blues by Kerry Hishon

Once a show has finished, the “post-show blues” often hit students. This can have a number of symptoms, including obsessively quoting lines and song lyrics from the show, starting every …

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Saturday, December 2, 2017

Four Tips for an Effective Strike by Kerry Hishon

Once the final performance of a show is completed, what comes next? It’s time to tear down the set, clean the theatre from top to bottom, and return the space back to its regular, unadorne…

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Saturday, November 25, 2017

How to Be a Great Audience Member by Kerry Hishon

I’m a stickler for theatre etiquette, and that includes being great audience members. No matter what performance you are watching, whether it be a classroom presentation, a school show, or…

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Dealing With Emergencies: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly by Kerry Hishon

In my nearly ten years as a youth theatre director, I have experienced what seems like every emergency situation under the sun. From misplaced costume items and broken props, to skipping CDs…

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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Dealing With Nerves by Kerry Hishon

Performing onstage with friends, family, peers, and even strangers watching can be extremely nerve-wracking. Putting yourself out there, being vulnerable, and taking risks onstage takes a lo…

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Saturday, November 4, 2017

Creating Pre-Show Routines and Rituals by Kerry Hishon

Creating pre-show rituals and routines is so helpful for students. It clears their minds and gets them into their “theatre brains” – the mindset needed to leave their personal issues a…

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Creating Atmosphere Using Music by Kerry Hishon

When creating a theatrical piece, it’s important to engage as many of the five senses as possible, including sound. It’s easy when you’re working on a musical; the sounds of the show a…

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Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Running List: What It Is and Why You Need It by Kerry Hishon

An organized backstage is a calm backstage, and a running list can help keep things running smoothly during a production. What is a running list? It’s a scene-by-scene breakdown of scene c…

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Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tips & Tricks for a Less Stressed Tech Week by Kerry Hishon

Tech week…the phrase alone can send shivers down the spine of the most calm and unflappable theatre professionals. Tech week has the reputation of being long and taxing. But it doesn’t h…

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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Backstage Blues: How to Deal With a Messy Cast by Kerry Hishon

Cleaning up anybody else’s mess is no fun. Cleaning up a messy backstage after a show is especially disheartening – it takes away any good feelings that were cultivated during a good per…

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Using One Item to Show Character by Kerry Hishon

Sometimes we get caught up in all the bells and whistles of a theatrical production. Sumptuous sets, elaborate costumes, piles of props, mountains of furniture – they’re all wonderful, b…

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Saturday, September 23, 2017

How Costumes Affect Your Character by Kerry Hishon

Costumes are such a fabulous part of theatre – they help tell the story, they help actors get into character, and they immediately tell the audience something about what’s going on. For …

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

5 Props Challenges and How to Overcome Them by Kerry Hishon

Props can add so much to a production, but they can also be challenging to work with. Here are five common props challenges, rapid-fire style, with suggestions about how to deal with them! 1…

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Saturday, September 9, 2017

Rehearsing in Layers by Kerry Hishon

Creating a theatrical piece is a bit like baking a cake – choose your recipe (the show), add ingredients (cast and crew), stir together and bake (practice and rehearse). At the end, you’…

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Curtain Call… Already?! by Kerry Hishon

A colleague of mine once told me that he always waits until the technical or dress rehearsal to choreograph the curtain call. His reasoning was that the curtain call should be the absolute l…

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

All About Transitions: 5 Tips for Success by Kerry Hishon

In theatre, a transition refers to the process of moving from one scene or set to the next. It seems simple enough–grab “all the stuff” at the end of one scene and take it offstage, wh…

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

How to Recruit Crew Members by Kerry Hishon

It takes a community to create a great production, and theatrical performances would not exist without the time, skills, and talents of dedicated crew members. From costumes and props to sou…

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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Keeping Up Morale (or, Dealing With “Rehearsal Blahs”) by Kerry Hishon

There comes a point in every rehearsal process when the dreaded “rehearsal blahs” start to set in. This tends to be mid-way through the rehearsal process, when the initial excitement of …

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

The “What If” Game by Kerry Hishon

Last semester, one of my classes consisted of a group of students who had little theatrical experience. Most of these particular students had never performed onstage before. They were eager …

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Round-Up: 5 Rehearsal Problems… and Solutions! by Kerry Hishon

From Kingston to California, drama teachers everywhere deal with similar concerns with their drama students and their theatrical productions. Here are five common rehearsal problems, rapid-f…

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

Working With Stage Blood by Kerry Hishon

From Shakespearean tragedies to zombie thrillers, stage blood can be an exciting addition to a show–it adds a sinister realism to dramatic moments, and really makes the audience gasp with …

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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Approaching Stage Kisses by Kerry Hishon

Ah, love. So many wonderful theatrical pieces are inspired by love. Yet pretending to be in love onstage, in front of friends, family members, and peers, can be one of the most challenging a…

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Saturday, July 1, 2017

When an Actor Leaves: How to Deal with Losing an Actor by Kerry Hishon

It’s a situation that directors hope never to have to face, but unfortunately it happens: an actor, for whatever reason, has to drop out of the show at some point during the rehearsal proc…

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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Five Tips for Dealing with Scheduling Policies & Conflicts, For Directors by Kerry Hishon

Recently we shared a post about theatrical time management for students. However, it’s not just students who need to plan ahead and consider their schedules. Teachers and directors need to…

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Rehearsal Mid-way Blues: Feeling Stuck? Go Back to the Basics by Kerry Hishon

If you were to make a graph of emotions throughout a rehearsal process of a show, I think it would take on a U-shape. The process starts on a high note, with everyone excited about the show …

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

You Want Me to Do WHAT Onstage? by Kerry Hishon

Students, imagine this: You’ve been cast into a show that you know is going to be awesome. You’re in the middle of rehearsal, and your director has just asked you to do something really…

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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Rehearsals You Need to Include in Your Schedule (That You May Not Have Thought Of) by Kerry Hishon

Creating a rehearsal schedule is one of the most challenging parts of producing a show, but it makes theatrical life so much easier. Teachers and directors: When making your rehearsal schedu…

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