Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Dramaturgy of Ages: Page Theatre Company

Rock of Ages: High School Edition

Award winning Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School hits Edinburgh Fringe for second time after selling out their 2015 run of Spelling Bee at SpaceTriplex.

 What was the inspiration for this performance?
Our department has specialized in rock shows recently, so this performance certainly caters to our strengths.  As for the specific show, our director believed it would be an excellent way to give his students the musical experience he had while in high school.  Many of the songs in the show are old favorites, and Beyond the Page could not be happier to share these traditional American 80s hits with the world!

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 
We at Beyond the Page strongly believe that performances can have a positive impact on the lives of the audience.  Nowhere is this more evident than in our recent history, where we performed shows like Next To Normal and The Outsiders to highlight issues in society.  After our shows we often hold talkbacks with the audience about issues depicted onstage.  For Next To Normal, we also featured educational displays on mental illness in order to educate the public and encourage conversation.

How did you become interested in making performance?

In 2013 our theatre company wrote and performed an original piece called Urban Legends for the Capital Fringe in Washington DC and we received a 5 Star review from DC Metro Theatre Arts (http://dcmetrotheaterarts.com/2013/07/14/capital-fringe-review-urban-legends-by-jr-russ/).  Since then we have been very interested in the Fringe Festivals and in 2015 we fundraised close to $250,000 to bring 38 students to perform the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at SpaceTriplex for which we sold out all four performances and received great reviews (http://www.sardinesmagazine.co.uk/reviews/review.php?reviewsID=1534).

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?
Because the show takes place in the 80s, the time when our director was taking dance classes as a young boy, he pulled dance steps from his own experiences and now we get to share in his childhood which is very special to us.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?
Our company does a lot of rock musicals, so although Rock of Ages is somewhat lighter in terms of plot, it certainly fits with our current season, “Beyond the Silver Screen.”  Other productions this season have included School of Rock (regional premiere), Night of the Living Dead, Billy Elliot (Regional Premiere) which we won the National Capital Area Cappies Award for Best Musical at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC and American Idiot.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
We hope the audience will rock out and have nothing but a good time!

This is the second Edinburgh Fringe show by the Virginia based theatre company run by director/choreographer Peelee Clark.  He recently directed the regional premiere of Billy Elliot which went on to win The National Capital Area Cappies Award for Best Musical at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Welcome to the 80s, a time of rock and roll adventure!  In Hollywood, everyone wants to be a star.  Rock of Ages follows Drew, an aspiring rock star, as he attempts to make it big.  However, he is outshined by Stacee Jaxx, lead singer of the band Arsenal.  As he chases his dreams, the entire Sunset Strip is threatened by German capitalists trying to erase the “rock and roll” vibe of the area and replace it with clean, efficient living in the name of progress.

Rock of Ages is a highly demanding show, representing the perfect challenge for Beyond the Page.  Each individual who is a part of the production has the necessary talent and drive to pull off such a musical.  This show caters to the strengths of our company as a whole and is sure to have the audience rocking in their seats.  The cast is full of talented, young, eager performers who are well-equipped to perform classic American songs favored worldwide.  Rock of Ages features songs from Journey, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, and more. 

Rock of Ages: High School Edition
By American High School Theatre Festival
Venue 38 - SpaceTriplex
August 4th 13:20 (14:45)
August 6th 11:20 (12:45)
August 7th 09:20 (10:45)
August 8th 13:20 (14:45)

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