Review for The Boys In The Band!

Just a quick post to connect you with a review by David C. Jones of Out TV:

Riaan Smit as the hustler, Andrew Wade as Michael’s friend and Michael Barry Anderson as the unexpected straight guest did fine work in their underwritten roles.

I was really appreciative that I finally got to see this ‘notorious’ play and found the story funny and darkly moving.

Given that I felt it was my weakest performance of the run, I’m delighted to receive such high praise. I’m not sure I agree that my role is underwritten, however. True, I don’t get a big emotional moment for myself like most of the other characters, but I’m onstage for pretty much the entire show, from an extended opening scene to the powerful finale.

Tickets! :

Andrew Wade

The Boys In The Band

It seems to always be when I have the most to say, that I have the least amount of time to say it.

Right now, my life is on a crazy tear, as I am partway through an incredible run of 17 performances of The Boys In The Band with Ghost Light Projects, and it has been an absolute privilege to work with such a diverse, talented group to put on a stunningly scripted, two-act power-of-a-piece on two weeks of rehearsals and a lot of gumption. Our cast ranges from a Film and TV veteran up on stage for the first time to a new VFS grad, from a working actor who earns a good living off his profession to the ’emerging artist’ (me). Decades between the oldest and youngest cast members. Now, don’t get me wrong – I enjoy working with teenagers (such as on the Panto) and actors in their early twenties, but I am also SO very grateful for the opportunity to work with men (and woman) who have a lot more experience in theatre and in life than I do. One of our fine actors works at the Make A Wish Foundation, and this show has been a wish come true indeed.

When I first graduated, I was worried I would leave school and promptly not do any theatre, fall into a dayjob and not get back out. So to counter this fear I took on every project that came along (and still do – let’s be honest). And so, since I graduated, I haven’t had more than three or four days away from a rehearsal or performance hall. Include school projects beforehand, and that run stretches probably longer than a year. But, being who I am (a new actor who can sing), most of my theatre work in the real world thus far has been in musicals, so to have the opportunity to sink myself into such a marvelous, serious, funny script as The Boys In The Band has been a great leveler. It has pointed out all the habits I own that I’ve let loose in musical-land, which don’t work so well in the realm of realism. My enunciation and lapses into over-articulation and sounding slightly British. My breathing habits. Finding the right level of energy with which to enter a scene and hit cues. Keeping up the pace.

And with last night’s performance, I feel we really hit our stride. Please, check us out – it is a fantastic show, and a landmark piece of queer theatre. (Sidenote: I take far too much pleasure in being a straight man playing a gay character, such an opposite to the usual circumstance.)

Tickets can be bought at , and when the questionnaire asks who sent you, tell’em you bought tickets to see me. So I can get a bit of a commission on them to subsidize my bus tickets. Thanks; I appreciate it. And you’ll appreciate our fine show.

Andrew Wade

How to be A Really Useful Engine

A Really Useful Engine

To Thomas the Tank Engine, the greatest compliment in the world is to be declared a ‘really useful engine’, which is to say, an engine that not only performs their job efficiently and effectively, but employs problem solving skills and smarts to seek out difficulties and resolve them.

And while I do love the creative spark of acting and writing, there is a very different, and very real, satisfaction in being a really useful engine. Which is what draws me to stage management.
Stage managing, particularly when there aren’t any ASMs, is all about supporting the production in any way. Primarily, stage managers provide a concrete, stable foundation for a production to stand on, through scheduling, through open communication between all the various departments, and through discipline. Spreadsheets of props, set pieces, and costume items. Entrances and exits, movement patterns written down. Lighting and sound cues noted. In a world full of creative actors, directors, artists, and designers, someone needs to be there with a calm, steady hand and a mindset that looks immediately to finding solutions, to helping foster everyone else’s visions (while being mindful of the budget). Essentially, stage management do everything they can to get these great lumbering beasts on their feet.

And all that can be so very, very satisfying.

Tonight is opening night for The Great American Trailerpark Musical, which I was brought in to stage manage midway through the rehearsal process. The last project I stage managed, Sonnets For An Old Century, also brought me in midway through their process. Hopefully, one of these days, I’ll be able to enter a project right from the first design meetings. Because if there is anything I have learned from this process, it is how key and crucial pre-planning and prep work is for this position. I did a lot of things right (such as having a conversation with the director on how he wanted me to act within the rehearsal process, particularly when it came to giving line notes and the like), but I also have a lot to build on, including building a proper stage management kit. Perhaps not as grandiose as Lois’s kit, but then, I’m not the professional she is. Yet.

Right, almost time for the opening curtain. The audience is pouring in. The adventure awaits.

Wish us broken legs!

Andrew Wade