Christmas script is done. My past work has finally paid off. I put so much time into the 2009 and 2010 script that all I had to do was take some scenes from each play and mash them together. It's already in Vietnamese too, which took the longest to do in the past. Why not try something new? Because I was pretty thorough the first two times so there is pretty much nothing new left to introduce. I used everything from the two Christmas Gospels, Matthew and Luke. They each have unique stories and I have used them all except for Jesus' presentation at the temple, which is how our play will end this year. The relevant Old Testament (related to the line of Jesus) is almost completely used up too, with only Abraham and Noah left. Maybe I will do those two stories if I'm ever in charge of Christmas again.
So I guess only Jon knows so far, but my aim this year is to show the struggle of good versus bad, and how good will win in the end. Scene 1 is the war in heaven, which Michael fighting against Lucifer. You must surely know by now, that if I am in charge of Christmas, there will be a battle lol. Anyway, Scene 2 is about the beauty of creation. I am dead serious about this scene, and I will put all my personal effort into this. I will be playing the role of God, and create the world while dancing with creation. Each day I spend a little time daydreaming about this scene, so by the time practice starts I will know exactly what I want.
Other than story line, I try to do four things as director: change expectations, give big roles to less represented families, helping actors help themselves, and make practice as efficient as possible.
1) Change expectations: I've done a "liberal" interpretation of the Gospel in past plays, where I create scenes that have not been explicit described but had to have occurred. Also, I do stuff differently just for shock value. In the past I made a stir when I cast Gabriel as a boy, but this year I'm changing it to have Gabriel a girl in the war scene. It's nothing political, I'm just bored and I'm sure the audience is too.
2) As far as family power goes we (Jon, Bryan, Lisa, Tony, Chris) and our younger cousins dominate Thieu Nhi in HT positions and also Christmas roles. This is the main reason why I want this year's Joseph and Mary to be Chris Nguyen and Monica. Their families deserve to be in the spotlight.
3) Just by giving the script to actors and telling them to learn their lines and the emotions involved, they will do a better job.
4) Practice will be efficient this year. I learned from my initial attempts in the past, and definitely remember last year's debacle. I fit the scenes and casting into the schedule first, not the other way around. If you cast people first before looking at practice schedule, you are screwed.
There will be four practice sessions, and all the scenes are covered i those four sessions. In addition, almost everyone is in four scenes so there's no downtime for people to mess around. Au Nhi and Thieu Nhi only have to stay for the first session. Nghia Si can leave after the third session, only Hiep Si and Huynh Truong have to stay until the end.
There's going to be four dances, and I already know people at the meeting will say "that's too much! we won't have time to practice!" Well yeah... if you cast a same girl in three different dances like they did in the past. Instead what we're doing this year is have four groups: older/younger boys, and older/younger girls all practice their dance at the same practice session. There is no overlap of cast or dance directors so everyone only needs to learn one dance, while still giving more entertainment to the play itself. Hax.