Meet the Staff: Mo Chapman, Productions Logistics Coordinator

Any staff member with a question about what is going on onstage, in the rehearsal halls, in the alley behind the theater, or anywhere else in the building knows that there is only one person has the answer: Mo Chapman. Mo, who was one of our regular stage managers in the late nineties and early aughts, has been the production logistics coordinator since 2006 and is the keeper of the calendars at The 5th. Quick with a joke and a smile, Mo is a fixture of The 5th Avenue staff, loved by everyone she works with.

Your first gig at The 5th was in 1999 as a child wrangler on Oliver!—what was that like?
This was back in the Frank Young days, and I come in and meet these kids, and there were only 8 or 9 of them, not like our recent production. I realized that they need to be taken care of in a way that they didn’t feel like they were being babysat. So I brought in puzzles—and the adults would come over and sit and do puzzles with the kids! There were live chickens on that show for the “Who Will Buy” number and I remember thinking “Well at least I’m not in charge of the chickens because I’d much rather deal with the kids!”

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The Rising Star Project Leadership Workshop

The Rising Star Project production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying goes up in March, but this season’s student team is already gearing up for the challenge!  The second annual Rising Star Project Leadership Workshop took place the theater last Saturday.  It was an opportunity for this season’s students to meet, begin building skills for the future, and talk leadership with Les Biller—local philanthropist and member of The 5th Avenue Theatre Board of Directors.

Here are a few highlights:

Rising Star Project Leadership

The 2015/16 Rising Star Project team will be composed of over 90 students from all over Washington State—future leaders in their respective communities.

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Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Sound of Music

RICHARD RODGERS composed his first songs at a summer camp, then wrote music for shows at Columbia University. A friend introduced him to a smart young lyric writer, Larry Hart, who shared his ambitious artistic goals. The two wrote several clever scores, but they attracted little attention and Rodgers seriously considered an offer to quit and sell children’s underwear.

They finally got their big break in 1925 with a small benefit show that won raves from the critics. For the next fifteen years Rodgers & Hart were one of the top teams on Broadway, writing 28 stage musicals and over 500 songs.

OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II was born into a show business family. His grandfather built theaters and opera houses, and his father managed the biggest vaudeville palace in Manhattan. The family wanted him to become a lawyer, but show business was in his blood and he quit law school to write lyrics for Broadway musicals.

Hammerstein had a huge hit with the groundbreaking 1927 musical Show Boat, with music by Jerome Kern. But for years he wasn’t able to follow Show Boat with another hit, and by 1940, Hammerstein wondered if his time had passed.

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The Votes Are In!

At the end of the 2014/15 season, we asked our subscribers to vote on the highlights of the year, from Outstanding Actor and Actress to Outstanding Lighting Design and Best Musical Moment, in our annual Subscriber Choice Awards. The non-profit 5th Avenue Theatre has over 25,000 subscribers, one of the largest theater subscription bases in the country, and many eagerly participated in the voting. We tallied the votes, and are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014/15 Subscriber Choice Awards:

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The Women of The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music is iconic. It is without a doubt one of the most beloved and well known musicals. For over 50 years it has enthralled audiences across generations, cultures, and borders, from Europe to Asia, South America to Africa—a global fascination that stands as a testament to its universal appeal. Certainly, the amazing score and the heartwarming story are important reasons audiences flock to it. However, one key to its enduring appeal for contemporary audiences lies in its gallery of brave, strong, self-directed women: Maria—rebellious, independent, and adventurous; The Mother Abbess—wise, intuitive, and the moral compass, and Elsa, the Baroness—accomplished, driven, sophisticated, and intelligent.

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