Notes from Mike and Jerry

  
Bringing Rumpelstiltskin to the Stage-A month later
 
Teresa: So,…it’s been nearly a month since the last time we spoke. How are things going two weeks into the process?
Jerry: Extremely well. Our cast is a very talented group of actors that like each other and works well together and really seems to be picking things up fast. We are having a lot of fun.
Teresa: How important is the fact that people seem to be getting along so well?
Jerry:  I think that dynamic is extraordinarily important. When a cast is working on a new project they are together for weeks and become like a family. This cast is eager to bring the show to life and willing to help each other in whatever way it takes to make that happen. It makes my job as a director a joy.
Teresa: Is this production different than the others in any way?
Jerry:  Our previous shows were a bit dark and while there were sections of comedy the subject matter was rather serious. Rumpelstiltskin is a fairy tale and even though the main character is certainly a despicable villain, in general this show has a much lighter feel to it. It’s also not as long as our other musicals and for the most part doesn’t place as many demands on the performers, though there are some challenging moments in spots.  It makes learning the piece easier and faster.  Another thing we did differently was to put together a kind of “choreography team” comprised of talented dancers, to focus on the more difficult choreography in the ensemble musical numbers. This is working out quite well.
Teresa: Are you on schedule?
Jerry: Definitely. This rehearsal schedule was constructed so that we will have plenty of time to run and polish the show before it opens. We have already blocked/choreographed more than half the show. That’s a good place to be.
Teresa:  What has surprised you the most so far?
Jerry: That is a tough question but I think it might be the fact that each of the actors seemed to almost magically step into their characters from the very start of the process.  (Smiling) I’d like to think that owes a lot to our ability cast the right actor for the right role but I suspect it has more to do with the fact that these are very talented actors who are good at what they do.
Teresa: Thanks for taking the time to update us on the show’s progress. We’ll be sitting down with you soon to do another status check.
Jerry: Looking forward to it.
  ​  

Notes from Mike and Jerry

  
Interview-Bringing RUMPELSTILTSKIN to the Stage

As the one responsible for maintaining our website,  I recently sat down with Jerry Sigman, one half of The Sigman Brothers musical production team, to discuss the challenges of creating and bringing the centuries old fairy tale Rumpelstiltskin to the stage. The show will have its world premiere on the Mainstage Theater at Pheasant Run resort this October, running from October 19th through the 28th.

Teresa: This is The Sigman Brothers 6th production isn’t it?
Jerry: Yes it is. We are really looking forward to getting started.
Teresa: Previously,  The Sigman Brothers have created shows about a classical composer who became a vampire, serial killer H. H. Holmes and Joan of Arc. Why Rumpelstiltskin?
Jerry: We liked the idea of creating a show suitable for adults and children.
Teresa: How do you decide on a project?
Jerry:  First, the story needs to appeal to us. Then we mull it over a bit and begin to work on it, deciding on the structure and the best way to bring that story to life. 
Teresa: Looking at your portfolio it appears The Sigman Brothers are rather prolific?
Jerry: There are so many wonderful stories we will never run out of material. We do love the process of creating new works, though bringing them to the stage has its own rewards too.
Teresa: Were there any special challenges for this production?
Jerry: Well to start with the fairy tale is only a couple of pages in length so we had to create a history for Rumpelstiltskin and expand the story to make it work for the stage. There are a lot of surprises in our version of this story. We think the audience will love it.  
A lot of thought has been given to the set and costumes as we wanted to put our best foot forward for this production, our second one at Pheasant Run. We had to find the right look for Rumpelstiltskin and the other characters in the show. The set captures the sense of wonder and fantasy in the magic forests where the action takes place.
 We held several auditions to find just the right cast. We are looking forward to working with this talented group of actors.
Teresa: This is your second show at Pheasant Run?
Jerry: Yes.
Teresa: How is that working out?
Jerry: We think it is going well. We love the theater itself. It has a long history and it’s challenging and exciting to work in that environment and to be a part of the plan to restore it to the reputation it had in the past as a center of live musical theater. We used to go there as children to see shows. Plus we do enjoy working with the Pheasant Run people; manager France Langan and his team Lisa and Mathias are enthusiastic and very good at what they do.
Teresa:  After Rumpelstiltskin you have a show in December and then 4 shows next year?
Jerry: Yes, we are premiering DOGS, our response to CATS during the Christmas holidays and then four shows next year.
Teresa: Sounds ambitious…and maybe a bit crazy.
Jerry: (smiling) You might be right. But we like the challenge and have assembled a great team to help us make it happen…including you!
Teresa: We will check back with you from time to time during the rehearsal process for an update on things, if that’s okay?
Jerry: Sounds wonderful.