Just one week ago, the RFH Tower Players were opening their final show of the school year — Footloose. The RFH shows of this era are always billed as Tower Players plays, because, of course, it’s the drama club. But, in the age of the RFH Tower Player dinosaur, playing with the Tower Players was a bit different.
There have always been two productions, a fall drama and a spring musical. The fall drama was a Tower Players play. Tower Players only were auditioned and cast. The spring musical a different, more school-wide production. It was billed as an RFH show, with auditions open to anyone in RFH, casting dance and vocal choruses, lead and supporting role actors and all.
Getting into the official Tower Players troupe was considered a coup of the RFH elitist sort. There was the show business of auditioning for the Tower Players band of merry high school show folk at the onset of the school year. Then there was the stressful, though typical, trial or tribulation of getting notified of whether or not you “made it” as a player, by virtue of your monologue audition, or something or other.
Then, and only then, when the newest band of Tower Players was officially formed for the school year, came the fall show and auditions for Tower Players only. It was the RFH drama group’s form of equity acting — sort of.
There were those who also somehow didn’t pass Tower Player muster in the school auditions, but went on to get parts in what was considered a higher echelon of theater — community theater at The Barn and Monmouth Players, for instance. Some with the big acting bug bite did both or all three and more. The Barn was right in Rumson, so juggling rehearsals between the high school and that venue, considered a show folk refuge for many, was very common.
The Barn is gone, but Monmouth Players are still playing.
And, to this day, many have wondered what the decision-making criteria really was, in some cases, for the chosen ones of the RFH Tower Players … and not.
Since the spring musical auditions were open to all in RFH, though, the exclusivity waned with the show and the cast was inevitably bigger. Casts were very large years ago. Still, some did not make it. Hey, that’s show biz.
Yes, it is. And Tower Players play on in a new era to a bit of a different tune …
Recognize anyone in this band of merry Tower Players? What’s with the costumes? Anyone notice that the popular costumes of the 70s seemed to be pimps, hookers and vampires? It was very common for high school kids to don these outfits at parties. Why? Only a Tower Player knows for sure …