Thursday, August 19, 2010

Behind the Scenes of Picking Palin! FringeNYC Stage Manager Jessica Pollack Reviews

As a stage manager, I'm usually one of the last people hired on a show.  The cast is already in place, the first time I see the script is a few days before rehearsal starts, and the first time I hear any of the words on the page out loud is at the first rehearsal after design presentations.  Not so with Picking Palin, written and directed by Stephen Padilla and debuting as part of this year's New York Fringe Festival at the Connelly Theater.  I was fortunate enough to come on board Palin during the casting process as a casting assistant, which has made my experience with the show a unique one.    

While Picking Palin explores the truth behind how and why Sarah Palin came to be the Republican Vice Presidential pick in 2008, it became clear during auditions that at just the mention of Sarah Palin's name, many people expected the play to be a send-up and a parody of Sarah Palin (some even expected a musical) rather than what it is -- a fly-on-the wall experience that lets audience members into a hotel room with four top Republican strategists as they come to a fascinating decision on John McCain's running mate days before the pick must be announced. 

Beginning with finding a cast that can transport the audience into that room, it's been an exciting journey watching them bring the words in the script to life to open a window on a story that audiences have never before seen.  If you're looking for an experience far more captivating and moving than a "Springtime for Sarah" send-up, and one that will stay with you long after you've left the theater, check out the website at

Playing @ Connelly Theatre: Sat 21 @ 9:45  Wed 25 @ 9:30  Sat 28 @ NOON  
Buy Tickets at   

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