Thursday, December 4, 2014

New Work in Progress: FIELD HOCKEY HOT

Last month, we checked in with Kate Galvin, Associate Producer and General Manager at 11th Hour Theatre Company, as she told us about their brand new musical, Field Hockey Hot.

Field Hockey Hot is a smart and entertaining new satire about a high school girls’ field hockey team, their ambitious coach and America’s favorite pastime…winning! When Applebee Academy’s star goalie is injured two weeks before the championship, Coach Shipley Barnes will stop at nothing to win the North American title. It's a hilarious and zany comedy featuring a pop score inspired by iconic musicians of the 1980s and a world where field hockey rules all!

How did Field Hockey Hot find its way to 11th Hour? 
Writer/Composer Michael Ogborn had come to see our 2008 production of Reefer Madness and it just clicked! Michael has an outrageous sense of humor and he'd been kicking around an idea about field hockey and female athletes (those hot, tough, unapproachable girls from high school) but the show hadn't taken shape for him yet.  When he saw our version of Reefer, the style and performances and musical drive matched what he wanted Field Hockey Hot to be. He knew then that he wanted 11th Hour to produce this show.

What attracted you and the rest of 11th Hour to the show originally?  
We love Michael's work and we also love him. Although he may be unknown to many of the NAMT members, Michael's work is beloved in Philadelphia;  he's been produced by 1812 Productions, the Arden Theatre Company and People's Light and Theater, where he has written many British-style Pantos for the holidays. So we were honored that he wanted to work with us. And we couldn't stop laughing when he pitched us the show! Michael sat down at a piano and talked us through the basic story, playing a little bit of the songs and stepping in to each character. He's a master; we were rolling!

Festival Show Update: THE SANDMAN

Last month, we caught up with alumni Richard Oberacker and Robert Taylor about the development of their 2013 Festival show, The Sandman, with Playing Pretend and their upcoming production in Denmark.
Drawn from the more nightmarish fantasy of E.T.A. Hoffmann, author of The Nutcracker, comes a new and darkly comic musical tale: The Sandman.  When Maria, the wife of an ingenious German clockmaker named Albert Strauss engages a new nanny, Fraulein Kaeseschweiss, to care for the two children, Nathaniel and Theresa, a series of bizarre and unnatural events begins to unfold.  As Theresa falls mysteriously ill, a flamboyant and unconventional physician, Dr. Copelius, is summoned upon the nanny's recommendation. The doctor comes with a young ward in tow, Clara Stahlbaum, recently orphaned after her entire family was incinerated in an inexplicable Christmas tree fire.  And as the Strauss family is thrust ever deeper into chaos, the sinister and Machiavellian forces at play are gradually revealedforces from which only the children may be able to save them.

What was the feedback like after you presented at the Festival?  
The feedback immediately following the presentations was very strong.  This included members approaching us directly after the performances and at the followup "meet the authors" events.  There were certainly a lot of questions about how the story ended, the true "fear factor" and the appropriateness of the material for various age groups.  From our point of view this was a perfect response because it meant we had used the presentation to introduce the material, but not give the whole thing away and to make people curious about whether or not the show was right for their theater.  It seems to us that the best thing an author can do is to present an excerpt that makes the members want to read and listen to the complete work.