Insight into the Phantom’s Final Talk-Back

by Nichoals Sheets, dramaturg

On the 31st of January at 10:00 p.m. we held our final talk-back session between the audience and the cast. The second time was different from the first, in that the final session only had the main characters on-stage. The first session on the 24th of January we had the entire cast. Both turned out just fine and both audiences were enthusiastic about the experience to pose questions and compliment the actors and the production team.

Waiting to Begin

Waiting to Begin

I invited the audience to come up to the front of the DeJong Concert Hall. These were real troopers. The performance itself ended at 10:00 p.m., so these were those who were willing to stay an additional 25 minutes so they could hear from the cast. My hat goes off to them for staying up so late with us.

Responding to Questions

Responding to Questions

The audience would pose a question and then I would repeat the question in the microphone just to make sure everyone understood the question at hand. Then, we gave time to however many of the actors wanted to respond. There were some great questions!

Interested Audience Members

Interested Audience Members

These were the faithful audience members that stayed afterwards. The session was engaging and the audience was very participatory. They kept asking questions, even when we ran out of time.

Actors Responding

Actors Responding

There were some questions that made the actors reflect, others that brought up jokes, and others that brought out their appreciative attitude for the whole process of this show, as well as the great leaders that brought it together.

Looking Out

Looking Out

I want to give a special thanks for all those who have attended a talk-back session for The Phantom of the Opera. Thanks for supporting the arts at BYU.

We hope you’ll make it a habit to attend performances on Thursdays to participate in the upcoming talk-back sessions for the next shows. Henry 5 will be the next show on stage, so I’m looking forward to attending the talk-back session with the dramaturg for that show: Anne Flinders. Even if you don’t attend the performances on Thursdays you are still invited to come after the show to visit with the cast.

Thanks again for being so supportive of all we do at BYU to enrich lives through the arts.

 

 

Phantom Talk-Backs

By Nicholas Sheets, dramaturg

Picture this with me. The cast has just left the stage after a triumphant finish. The orchestration is about to play its final score of the night to bid patrons farewell. WAIT! The dramaturg runs out onto stage, “Good evening!” The audience, startled, looks up on stage. “Good evening everyone. We invite you to attend our talk-back session this evening with the actors.” The audience begins to get restless. Are they really going to be able to speak with the Phantom, let alone Christine? What a joy. Once the orchestration ends the dramaturg picks up the mic and the talk-back session begins.

For everyone who isn’t familiar with this term “talk-back,” here is a brief explanation. You, the audience, and me, the dramaturg, destroy the 4th wall that disconnects the actors on stage with the audience.

Last Thursday we had our first talk-back session. It was an excellent experience. Many great questions were posed, as well as nice compliments. Many love this opportunity at BYU to stay after a performance and visit with the actors who have spent so many hours perfecting their art just for you.

Tonight, Thursday the 31st of January, we will be holding our final talk-back session with the Phantom cast. If you aren’t attending this show then you can still arrive at 10:00 p.m. to sit with those brave enough to participate. Whether or not you want to actually pose a question you may still come and observe. I’m sure you’ll leave the Phantom talk-back session with a few things to consider and a better appreciation for all the hard work that went into the production.

Expect photos to come from tomorrow’s talk-back session!

Thanks everyone!