As I go back and forth in casting Xanadu I have become aware of the need to explain some of the parts in the play. Like most musicals there are a few parts with solo singing roles, some small walk on roles and perhaps the most import role of all, the Chorus. I know few of you believe how important the chorus is and I can understand that feeling. It doesn’t feel as special to be one of many. Especially when you dream of standing out.
You may have noticed in the character sheet I handed out that there is a character called Greek Chorus. Western theatre has it’s roots in Greece, specifically Athens. Theatre was very intregal in the lives of the citizens. The idea was that even the community was involved during a dramatic performance. But the entire audience couldn’t be on stage, they needed a representative. The Greek Chorus filled that void. Their role was to demonstrate how the audience might react to the drama on stage. They also offered background information, comment on themes and often spoke outloud what the character was thinking. The chorus was regarded as an actor. It was integral, important, and vital to the entire production.
Xanadu presents a unique opportunity to re-establish the traditional Greek Chorus. Most of the songs are sung by the Greek Chorus. They are the foundation for the world of the play. They need to be strong singers and actors who have the ability to sell the story. Here is a video that shows the influence Greek Chorus has had on us.
And a classic example of a Greek Chorus