Production: Finding Neverland (2017)
Performer: Connor McRory
Role: Swing, Elliot in this week’s performance
What does it mean to be a swing?
My job is cover all of the boys in the show and know all their parts, all their blocking, all of their choreography. I cover eight or nine people in the show.
How does that affect how you manage rehearsal, line memorization, costumes, etc.?
It was very challenging. It took me about two months to really feel solidified in every single track that I am supposed to know. Even every night, every time I go on for a new person, there’s always something a little weird that goes on, since I don’t do this every night. Some night’s I’m just sitting backstage, most nights I’m just sitting backstage. I think it’s just preparation and keeping your mind focused and always looking over your notes!
With that many roles, what did your costume situation look like?
Funnily enough, I have a base suit, and I wear that suit for pretty much every single one. I think there’s three characters where I’ll have different bowties or a different vest. When I’m Captain Hook, I have my own Captain Hook outfit, but that’s pretty much it. It’s really like little accessories I can change.
Obviously there are a lot of children in this show. Have you ever worked with this many children before?
I did Annie once- a bunch of screaming little girls. However, the boys in this show do so much more. I’m also the assistance dance captain, so right now, we’re teaching a whole new group of five young boys the show and I feel like a school teacher. They are all amazing, but the fact that you gotta like, keep them focused, and make sure they’ve done their homework and know their lines. It’s overwhelming, but in a really great way because they’re all wonderful.
Do the boys rotate in and out of their roles?
I think each do about five, no six shows a week and have two nights off. So all the boys will pretty much know two other tracks, and the taller boys know Peter.
Is there anything you want the audience to take away or fun stories you want to share?
With the glitter, every city we go to – this is so weird – but every city, the theater has its own kind of way that the air moves in the theater. Even if someone leaves the theater and opens the back door, the glitter will be pretty much screwed up. I know that every time we get to a new theater, they have to do an air check. They turn on the fans, everyone on the stage like plays in it, they see what works best. They all have different levels. I will say crazy things happen in that the boys will get sick right in the middle of the show or people go down in the middle of the show, so it’s always fun to hurry up. For me, sometimes I have to hurry up and jump into costume and jump on stage, and the cast is like “who are you? Why are you here?” because they don’t even know someone got injured. That’s always fun too!
Is it common to have to switch out the boys in the middle of the show?
It’s happened maybe six times, so it’s not crazy. But they’re young boys, sometimes they get stomach aches or get grumpy and don’t want to do the show! But they’re all pretty amazing.