Continuing Geva Theatre Center’s mission of placing our work at the crossroads of artistic excellence and community engagement, we invited Bishop Kearney High School to collaborate with us on the award-winning musical, Once.
The Bishop Kearney production of Once, directed by Paula Steffen, includes a young company of high school actors, Bishop Kearney alumni performing as the musicians, and students who have been learning about production, stage management, publicity, dramaturgy, and more from the Geva’s staff and creative team of Once. Each onstage and offstage student participant shared the process of exploring Once alongside their professional counterpart from within the Geva company.
The student cast connected with their professional actor counterparts from the Geva cast through character insight sharing sessions, a cast-to-cast dinner, and visits to multiple rehearsals at Geva including the first rehearsal, several working rehearsals, tech, and opening night. The student creative team also met with, shadowed, and shared discoveries alongside the Geva departments they were reflecting. In turn, the Geva company of Once attended a student cast rehearsal at Bishop Kearney High School, and will be in the audience to cheer on their student counterparts at their performance on Geva’s Wilson Stage on Monday, March 9th (incorporating the existing lighting, sound, and scenic elements created for our own production of Once, into their production, and with Geva’s full crew and technical support).
The Stage Door Project is the only program of its kind in the country. For students and educators, it is an incredibly thrilling and extremely rare opportunity to connect with a nationally-recognized regional theatre and to explore the birth and growth of a production from the inside out alongside professionals in the theatre industry. By embracing this young company from our community, we at Geva have the wonderful privilege of learning with and from their energy and insights into youth, life, love, humor, and the artistic process.