“In music, the punctuation is absolutely strict, the bars and the rests are absolutely defined. But our punctuation cannot be quite strict because we have to relate it to the audience. In other words, we are continually changing the score.”
– Ralph Richardson
In life, and in theater, there are some production rules that must not be deviated from. In theater they are: lines must not be deviated from, genders of the characters cannot be changed, etc. And in our daily lives we must follow: social norms, rules of the road, following directions at work, etc. We live our lives according to rules that we must follow every day. We cannot perform a play without becoming acquainted with the roles we must play.
In musical theater we must be even more strict with the rules. There are specific numbers of beats we must count out, listen for, and sing out. We must follow these to follow a vision of what the sing is and should be.
With that said; an exciting, incredible show is not made from merely following the rules. We must take these guide lines and make them into an even more beautiful creation. To me there is nothing more beautiful than creation, and creating beautiful music and acting is no different. You must create the magic of theater and the magic of life.
We follow the rules to have structure, but we make the music of a song our own. A song has no voice without an actor, and it has no soul without creativity. So too is our lives.
Best of luck to my music theater friends in the production of Les Miserables with Upper Room Theater Ministry.