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by Andrew Duxbury

You have been approached by the management of PBS to produce a "Sondheim Showcase" series for "Great Performances" this is going to include new TV-film versions of all of the major SS works. They are to be filmed using the original scripts and scores and as "Stage" works but designs may be modified from the originals to allow a more filmic interpretation of the works. Plans call for the following shows to be part of the series:

  • West Side Story
  • Gypsy
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • Anyone Can Whistle
  • Do I Hear a Waltz?
  • Company
  • Follies
  • A Little Night Music
  • The Frogs
  • Pacific Overtures
  • Side by Side by Sondheim
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Merrily We Roll Along
  • Sunday in the Park with George
  • Into the Woods
  • Assassins
  • Putting it Together
  • Passion

The catch is, PBS has limited funds to develop and film this series. They have put together a three month rehearsal and a three month shooting schedule on soundstages in Los Angeles. The only way to meet the deadlines is to put together a repretory company of players who will play the leading and featured roles in each show. The budget allows you to hire twelve actors and twelve actresses for the company. (An additional chorus of twenty-four will be hired for those shows requiring an ensemble or with many minor parts.) The sponsors of the series insist that all of the members of your company be recognizable names from mass media (TV, film, recordings) and not just known for their stage work. They forbid you to hire anyone who has not had above the title or eatured billing in succesful films, a recurring role in a succesful TV series or an album that has sold well. At the last minute, a generous donation from the Toyota corporation allows you to hire an all Asian cast for Pacific Overtures but the other shows must all be cast from your rep. group.

Who would you hire for your group and in what parts in which shows would you cast them?

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