Registration for Fall classes is open soon. We can't wait to see you for FROZEN Jr.
For the First Time in Forever, Frozen Jr. is coming this fall. Sign up now if you love to sing, dance, act, and have a ball. Join Elsa, Anna, and Olaf in the Skyline show. What are you waiting for? Let it Go! Remember Love is an Open Door and Some People Are Worth Melting For. So get ready to set the winter free and be the star you always dreamed you could be!
Registration for Fall classes is open soon. We can't wait to see you for FROZEN Jr.
Did you know that our very own Ms. Mary Nicholas played Mary Poppins at the Northbrook Theatre in June of 2017? In honor of our shows getting underway at various sites, we sat down with Ms. Mary and asked her some questions for today's "Throwback Thursday" blog. Let's learn about her time playing everyone's favorite nanny!
What was your audition for the role of Mary Poppins like?
At auditions we learned a brief dance routine in small groups and sang 32 bars of a musical theater song with a pianist. I sang "Feed the Birds." At callbacks, we read scenes from the show in different combinations. At the end, I was asked to stay and sing "Practically Perfect" (which I had fortunately already learned just in case.) After being cast, I was in such a state of shock that I didn't tell my most of my friends or family for a month.
What were rehearsals like?
They were a whirlwind! I actually missed most of the first month because I was in another show at the same time, so I did my best to prepare independently and come into rehearsals memorized. When multiple scenes were rehearsed at once, I would bounce from room to room: one moment singing solos with the music director and the next in a choreography rehearsal with the ensemble.
What was the most challenging part of the role?
Mary Poppins in almost every single scene of the show, sings constantly, leads the infamous Letter Choreography in "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," and is a character originated by Dame Julie Andrews. She is an awful lot to live up to. On top of that, I had never had a starring principal role, so this was my very first opportunity to prove to a production team, an audience, and to myself that I could be trusted with that responsibility. (No pressure.)
What was the most fun?
That being said, the most fun part of the role was making a childhood dream a reality. It was incredibly special to be a part of a musical I've treasured since I was seven.
What's your favorite memory from the show?
Flying is amazing and I highly recommend it.
What's your favorite song or part of the musical Mary Poppins and why?
I must say, when your name is actually Mary, "Jolly Holiday" is a bit surreal. My favorite of Mary's many solos is in that number, too --the part where she sings to Bert.
Any tips for the Skyline performers as they head into their shows?
I told the cast at our final performance that my favorite lines from the show are "Go on, chase your dreams. You won't regret it./ Anything can happen if you let it." For several years before this opportunity, I had believed I was done performing and would only work behind the scenes for the rest of my life. But the children I worked with at Skyline made performing look like so much fun that I started auditioning again. If you don't chase your dreams, you don't live them, so I would like to say thank you to all the children in Skyline for inspiring me to chase mine. Best foot forward as you head into your performances! Spit spot
One of the biggest jobs we have as actors is to prepare for each rehearsal - and that means taking time at home to memorize our lines and to practice our songs and choreography! Director Ms. Kiki took some time to share her favorite tips and tricks for practicing at home:
1. Read the whole script
Read the whole script! And read it more than once! Understanding the show as a whole is crucial to being able to memorize your lines. Memorize the context of each scene: Understanding what is happening in each scene, such as "Mary and the children go to the park" or "Von Hussler gets turned down by George," will help you. Your lines and lyrics make much more sense when you understand the context of each scene!
2. Highlight your cue line
Not only should you memorize your line, but you should also memorize the lines that lead into yours! The line before yours is called your "cue line." I like to use a different color highlighter for cue lines in my scripts. Knowing your cue lines will help you deliver your lines confidently and in a timely fashion. Extra tip: Quiz yourself! Take a small piece of paper and cover up your lines as you go through your script, so only your cue line is visible. No peeking!
3. Practice in the mirror
Practice your lines in a mirror and observe your physicality. Ask yourself: "How would your character stand?" "What do their facial expressions look like?" "Does this person tend to be happy, sad, confident, shy, silly, strict, etc.?" Seeing yourself in the mirror is a great way to see how you will present yourself in front of an audience. Extra tip: Practice a ton of different physical choices! Explore all of your options before you settle on just one.
4. Write your lines out onto paper
This is a GREAT memorization tool. Write each of your lines down on paper. Doing so will make your brain connect the action of writing down your lines to seeing your lines on paper. Extra tip: Write your lines onto index cards and quiz yourself later!
5. Practice with a friend/parent
It can be fun to practice your lines with a friend. Have them read the other characters' lines so that you can respond with your lines. Bonus points if this friend is in Mary Poppins with you! Practicing with a fellow actors is a great way to solidify the material in your mind. Remembering choreography and blocking is much easier with two people!
6. Listen to your music even when you're not practicing
Sitting down and memorizing every song can take a long time. You can make it fun! Listen to your materials when you're cleaning your room, coloring/making art, eating lunch, etc. When you listen to something over and over again, your brain can't help but become more familiar with it.
Which of these tricks will you use to be ready to go for the Mary Poppins shows?
“Being an actor gives you a chance to play all kinds of roles...That’s the most interesting thing!” -Sarah Michelle Gellar
One of the most exciting (and nerve-wracking!) parts of participating in a Skyline show is finding out what role you will be playing. Sometimes you get to play just the character you were hoping for, but other times you might be a little bummed about your part. The most important thing to remember is that theatre is a “team sport.” The show can’t be a success without strong performers in every single part, and sometimes the directors might have seen a special spark in your audition that led them to cast you in an unexpectedly fun role! Read on as two of our directors share stories of a time that they were cast in what seemed like a small part at the start, but became a great experience!
Dr. Cinnamon -Girl of Oz?
When I was eighth grade we did the Wizard of Oz. I auditioned and and was cast as “Gloria, girl of Oz”. Who is Gloria, you ask? EXACTLY. However, I did get a solo and a chance to sing “Merry Old Land of Oz”. When I was assigned my part I was very unhappy. But once I got into the role I realized that every part counts. The show wouldn’t have been the same without Gloria of Oz!
Ms. Kristen - The Tree
My first year in college our big musical was Into The Woods, and I was cast as….a tree. As you can imagine, I was both confused and disappointed. Shouldn’t the trees just be set pieces? What would I even do? As it turned out, the director had a fun idea for the five “tree people” to be on stage throughout the show creating the magical environment for the audience, reacting to the action, and serving as the chorus for every song. Plus, we got to paint ourselves entirely green every night, from head to toe! What I thought was a very small part ended up having more time on stage than some of the lead roles - and it was a lot of fun!
So bring your heart and soul to whichever role you have in Mary Poppins this fall - we can’t wait to see the magic you bring to the stage!
Join your favorite practically perfect nanny at center stage. This Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious adventure is sure to be all the rage. Skyline Studios is pleased to present Mary Poppins Jr. this fall. Sign up now if you love to act, dance, sing, and have a ball. All it takes is A Spoonful of Sugar and a little Chim Chim Cher-ee for you to be the star you always dreamed you could be.
Are you already tired of the cold and snow! Well, think warm thoughts and summer fun! Check out our summer offerings at the Winnetka Community House, Wilmette, Kenilworth Park District, Barrington Park District, and Little Hands in Northbrook. We will be presenting the magical and fun story of Shrek. We have programming for ALL ages.
We completed our Annie Jr. shows are we were blown away by the talent, commitment, and team work of our actors.
The votes are in! Willy Wonka Jr. will be our winter/spring show. It won by just a few votes. Thank you to everyone who participated. We are so excited to bring this colorful and fun show to the stage. Rehearsals begin in January.
We are brining back one of our favorites for fall...Annie Jr.! This classic musical is the perfect show for the holidays. Registration is open (or open soon) at all our locations.
Skyline Studios is pleased to announce Annie Jr. coming this fall. Bet Your Bottom Dollar you will have a ball. Get ready to sing, dance, and act all the way down Easy Street! Your script and CD will help you keep the beat. Each actor will shine on stage at the end. Best of all, everyone is sure to make a new friend!
Our very own teacher, Ms. Mary, played Mary Poppins at the Northbrook Theatre. We had the opportunity to see the show and support Ms. Mary. She was incredible. Did you know many of our teachers are also working actors? They bring a wonderful real-world perspective to our classes. Congratulations Mary. We are so proud of you.
Summer is right around the corner and we can't wait! Check out our summer offerings at Winnetka Community House, Soul2Sole Dance, Wilmette, Barrington Park District, and Little Hands in Northbrook. We will be presenting the adorable and fun story of 101 Dalmatians. We have programming for ALL ages. We hope your summer involves relaxation, family time, and theatre. Please let us know if you have any questions.
Have you seen our new Broadway Performers opportunity at The Winnetka Community House? Broadway Performers is a NEW performance class for 13-14 year olds. Actors will have the opportunity to take their performance to the next level in a non-competitive environment. All actors will receive a part in the show and a chance to lend their ideas to the process and creation of the show! This amazing class begins Saturday, February 11th from 1-3PM. Check out the flyer below for more information.