Gig&Tell: Dream Theatre Productions

  • NOT a dream.    
    04/03/2018  2:14pm

    Hi fellow actors, I feel it is my responsibility to be real about the experience of working at Dream Theatre. Because there are 58 reviews for this tiny new company--most of them swearing how great it is--you should consider whether those reviews are legit. Most likely it is someone from the company trying to save face. If you are non-AEA, you get a small travel stipend and that's it. Yes, you get a credit on your resume, but it also amounts to a whole lot of nothing. As an AEA artist, I was paid very well. But here is the catch. There is all sorts of illegal and amateur activity happening at this company. For 'Mamma Mia', the set was ripped from an online source, while the producer/director swore that he had the rights to the original Broadway set. (He is now apparently being sued by the original set designer. But I cannot verify that for sure.) The choreography was ripped from Youtube videos. We watched this happen throughout rehearsal. Not only illegal, but devoid of artistic integrity. The musicians checks did not clear. I can verify this. The costumes were truly worse than a community production, with a few exceptions. Do not be fooled by the fact that the producer/director managed to get a couple of fancy names for 'Mamma Mia'. Money talks, but it comes with a price tag.
    Before accepting the contract, I was warned by two different sources about how poorly this company is run. Because I wanted insurance weeks and money (cynical, I know) I took the job when I was reassured that AEA performers would have their money direct-deposited. While the cast was lovely and the show actually turned out fine, the overall experience was pretty rough. The director is way out of his league. He is a high school theatre teacher who often lies about his credits. His behavior in many many ways was unprofessional and inappropriate. There were so many lies told that it became a running joke amongst the company members. My feeling is that the days for this company are numbered. There were so many lapses in judgement and rule-breaking for how a company should run that there are literally too many things to mention. Proceed with caution!

    presto!!!!

    04/04/2018  9:54pm
  • Read between the lines    
    03/06/2018  10:14am

    Folks, you have to read between the lines with all of these posts. We have one girl talking about how unprofessional this company is and how outraged she was because they wouldn't let her out of TECH. Yup! You think it's professional to miss tech rehearsals, but they're unprofessional for not letting you? Lets see you try that anywhere else. Also, what "threat" was made towards you? Everyone who auditions signs an attendance policy that says if anyone misses any part of tech, they're out. Was it a threat or just a reminder that you'd be held to the same standards as everyone else? Also, the production team DID NOT go around discussing the issue. This girl pouted, and would not stop talking about it in the dressing room for the entire run. Like, actually still talking about it as she's taking off her costume after the last show. We all knew about it because she couldn't stop.

    The jealousy of the other post is ridiculous! How can you go on and on about how awful the person running it is AND THEN SAY YOU AUDITIONED FOR THE NEXT SHOW! Thank you for letting us know you weren't cast though, lets us know what your real issue is, also who you are.

    Yes, this company pre-casts. It's listed in their audition notices what roles are already cast. It's their company and they can do what they want and they don't waste our time at auditions. The cast of Mamma Mia is almost 70% new to the company. I guess if you want to call that cliquey go ahead. Also the only show that was precast was Legally Blonde. Mamma Mia didn't have time to precast. They literally had less than a week from getting the right to auditions. As for the "names" in the show, nothing was official until rehearsals had already started.

    To come on here and call people out by name while make disgusting allegations about another is really awful. I am doing my 2nd show with this company and with each production you can see the company grow. They're trying hard to make something great that focuses on getting actors EMC points, pay and remaining close to NYC to keep auditioning. They perform in a beautiful venue, in a fun town with lots of bars and good food. I love working for them and helping them achieve their goals. IMHO saying "he is only doing this to get praise for giving back" is as disgusting as him "making uncomfortable comments" and "only interested in equity and hot guys" Grow up and go practice your jump rope.

    I have only heard NIGHTMARES from former cast members of this company, and its proccess.

    03/07/2018  10:08am

    To each there own, maybe you should find some more positive minded people to be around, because this theatre is a DREAM

    03/07/2018  11:26pm

    This place is a literal nightmare. The director is rude, discusses funds the entire time, and has PUBLICLY made fun of individuals in rehearsals. The “positive” comments are from individuals who are either on the PRODUCTION staff commenting, and or your two leads in the last show. Run people. Seriously.

    03/08/2018  11:30am

    Hi all! Kayla Bryan here! Like Julie, I think hiding behind anoniminity here is stupid. So judging by the last paragraph of that lovely rant, I’m guessing whoever wrote this thought it was me. I’ll go ahead and say that it wasn’t, though you may believe what you want.

    I agree 100% with what Julie said. This company is just starting out. Any new company has its ups and downs. I did my first project with DTP last year at Christmas and we somehow managed to get together an entire show in a week, largely in part because of BJ, as well as the awesome work of our MD (Ilene).
    This year, I did Legally Blonde with them. Those that were in the cast know that there were also ups and downs throughout that process, and even through the performances I had a rough time with BJ. I have since reached out to him and the others that were involved in that scenario and have nothing but respect and well wishes for all involved and for the company as a whole. Their mission has been positive and the same from the beginning and is something I Whole-heartedly support.
    Did I audition for Mamma Mia? Yes! Did I get cast? No! Did I also write directly on my audition form what role/s I would accept? Yes! Did the person that ultimately got that role (let’s be real here...) deserve it? Abso-fuckin-lutely.

    Moral of MY rant: please stop assuming you know things by “reading between the lines” when you clearly don’t. If you are in Mamma Mia, congrats on your opening tonight and have an amazing next few shows! If you are not (or even if you are), please inhale, exhale, and think before you post and throw people and companies under the bus.

    Snaps and bad jump-roping love!

    03/24/2018  2:27am

    that girl is just trying to get another job because she didn't get hired to do Mamma Mia.

    03/24/2018  12:00pm
  • Theatre co    
    03/22/2018  2:00pm

    I did the show at 54 below with dream theatre productions in July and the entire experience was professional. I auditioned for legally blonde but say I would only take a certain track because I’ve done the show before. He was completely generous and I look forward to his next season!

  • Never had any issues    
    02/18/2018  7:43pm

    It’s a great company and this is their first season so they’re feeling things out. It’s going LOA in the fall so that’s good. The other review here had a lot to say about things but when you have written permission from original choreographers, of whom the director worked with, you’re in the clear. It’s basically for young people to be able to work alongside seasoned talent but also be able to make connections. Next season you’ll be able to get points on top of payment. This first season is just for show. The theater world is caty. If you’re a crappy cast member, they’ll make sure other people know about. Other than that I’d work there again! If you care about your craft, make good connections.

    BUMP!

    02/18/2018  9:20pm

    Bump

    03/05/2018  11:19pm

    Had the same lovely experience. Can't recommend this company enough.

    03/05/2018  11:23pm

    BUMP!!!

    03/06/2018  2:14pm

    Horrific experience.

    03/07/2018  10:07am

    bump

    03/07/2018  8:38pm

    YES

    03/07/2018  11:24pm

    This place is a literal nightmare. The director is rude, discusses funds the entire time, and has PUBLICLY made fun of individuals in rehearsals. The “positive” comments are from individuals who are either on the PRODUCTION staff commenting, and or your two leads in the last show. Run people. Seriously.

    03/08/2018  11:31am

    love them!

    03/09/2018  6:53pm
  • Guys, chill.    
    03/08/2018  10:54am

    Hi friends. This is Julie. I don't believe in anonymity here. Even when I post (rarely) my username is juliegalorenzo. So, here we are.

    1) Naming names is rude. I don't know who you are, but the mods should take down your post. But the mods are mostly worthless so it will stay up until I become equity which is likely never.

    2) Why is anyone here assuming they know "who wrote" what? Is it important? Not cool, y'all because you literally have NO IDEA.

    3) Yes they precast for LB and were VERY CLEAR ABOUT IT. So, if you have beef that I was precast by all means message me. I'll be all ears.

    4) These people are BUILDING a company. Have you worked with companies in their foundational stages before? If so, you know there is a lot to figure out. I agree that talking about money is not cool (in any company, for any reason) and I think we all were in sync on that.

    5) NO ONE IS FORCING YOU TO AUDITION FOR THEM EVER AGAIN.

    6) If you are doing a show that is unpaid for any reason other than "for fun" or "for experience" or "just because you want to" then you need to re-evaluate. Did I have my gripes? Sure. Did I write them all over the internet? No. Does BJ know what they are? YES. I didn't sneakily complain about them here anonymously.

    Honestly, this company shouldn't even be on Gig and Tell until they are paying all people not just EGA so these comments should all be VOID. For now, to review them so unjustly and after they gave you an opportunity to perform in a great venue is rude. It doesn't make anything untrue - I'd never say that someone's experience is less valid than another's - not my style. But we can choose what to say and how to say it. Choose better everyone.

    looks like they took down the post with names! guess my card is in the mail!

    03/08/2018  11:01am

    This place is a literal nightmare. The director is rude, discusses funds the entire time, and has PUBLICLY made fun of individuals in rehearsals. The “positive” comments are from individuals who are either on the PRODUCTION staff commenting, and or your two leads in the last show. Run people. Seriously.

    03/08/2018  11:30am

    copying and pasting skills on point!

    03/08/2018  11:34am

    ^Thanks! Its just like the directors blocking and choreography of other peoples shows!

    Copy. Paste. Repeat.

    03/08/2018  11:03pm

    bump

    03/09/2018  12:01am

    Bump

    03/09/2018  8:59am

    bump

    03/09/2018  6:52pm
  • Ya'll 03/06/2018  2:19pm

    It's a good company, true that they're still working out the kinks but they are loyal to their actors and provide great opportunities to learn and grow. The complainers on this post obviously didn't get their way and enjoy throwing tantrums about it. I love working for DTP, which is why I'm back for their second show. I'd say 25% of the cast were involved with other DTP shows, which shows they honor their hard working non eq's and obviously embrace new comers. You get to work with big names and that's a blast for any up and coming actor trying to make connections. In a couple years this company will really be something special, if you put in the work and are a good cast member, you'll reap the rewards in the end.

    Third show* this is their third mainstage

    03/06/2018  2:23pm

    Bump

    03/07/2018  8:39pm

    Loyalty goes far for both the company and the actors. It's great!

    03/07/2018  11:24pm

    bump

    03/09/2018  6:52pm
  • People will talk    
    03/07/2018  1:56pm

    As a resident of Rahway. The town the theater lives in I have made it my goal to see Dream Theater’s shows. I have two children that are very much into the performing arts (they take after their parents). I took them to see High School Musical and though they didn’t get a huge turn out, it was understood. It was their first show and they are a new company. The talent was 50/50. The leads were amazing but lacked in their ensemble. Choreo could have used some work but overall my family and I left satisfied.

    We than went to see Legally Blonde. Which We all had a blast watching! You can tell everyone on stage were truly into the story. They had such a great turn out the night I went compared to when I went to see High School Musical. What makes it better is they had Tony Winner: Willy Falk in their cast which I would say is pretty damn good. I would have given anything for a chance to have worked with a big broadway name.
    And as I am seeing promotions for Mamma Mia I see they have taken on more than one big broadway name onto their cast so in my book that’s a huge yes to dream theater.
    In my eyes and even in the eyes of other people that have seen shows with them believe they are heading in the right direction. They are giving affordable tickets prices to people not able to come to the city and pay for the ridiculous prices of broadway shows. They are doing great things for their actors as well as viewers!

    There clearly is one or two negative comments on here from people in the cast but hey. You can’t please everyone. There are more positive comments than negative. Don’t always listen to that one person trying to bring everyone down because they didn’t get their way. Do yourself a favor and look up the theater on YouTube and watch their videos from past shows. They have backstage vlogs. It looks like the cast had no issues and had a blast. Do your homework people.

    Dream Theater, you’re doing great! Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see Mamma Mia!

    Very telling when a theatre has such a positive impact on not only their actors, but their community as well! Keep up the good work!

    03/07/2018  11:25pm

    This place is a literal nightmare. The director is rude, discusses funds the entire time, and has PUBLICLY made fun of individuals in rehearsals. The “positive” comments are from individuals who are either on the PRODUCTION staff commenting, and or your two leads in the last show. Run people. Seriously.

    03/08/2018  11:31am
  • A great company!    
    03/05/2018  11:12pm

    I’m currently in my second show with DTP and I have never had a problem! The production value of their shows is great, the whole process is run professionally, and I get to work alongside some impressive equity professionals. The company has admirable goals of making theatre accessible to everyone. While they are still a small company that is learning and growing, I think that there are good things to come in this company’s future, and I’m excited to see where it goes and to finish out my second production with them!

    ^^ untrue

    03/07/2018  10:08am

    Clearly, from reading the reviews, this is VERY true for many people’s experiences!

    03/07/2018  6:54pm

    Funny how the same 2 people can't let it go.

    03/07/2018  8:38pm

    Bump

    03/07/2018  8:39pm

    Couldn't agree more!

    03/07/2018  11:23pm
  • One time...    
    03/07/2018  11:11pm

    ...the girl who played their margot punched me in the face. it was AWESOME. 5 out of 5 stars on the punch AND the theatre.

  • Run. Fast. Keep running. Don’t look back.    
    02/12/2018  11:07pm

    Just plain awful. They dare to call themselves a professional company but no one except the equity guest artist contracts are paid. But so not worry - the artistic director/director will always make sure you know how much money they spent on props, set, costume, sound, etc. It happens so often that it was actually a joke amongst the cast. Don’t tell actors that your sound is costing $5,000 and the show is $100,000 but you aren’t giving your non eq, professional performers, even $100. The guy who runs the company is not to be trusted, talks about the actors to other actors, makes threats, but simultaneously allows people to come and go as they please. Rehearsals are 4 nights a week plus full day Saturday. They are allegedly becoming an SPT or some other kind of professional theater that can give points and pay but who knows when that will be. Also, it is illegal to watch a youtube of the original show on broadway and then just do all that exact staging and choreography.

    Hi! I was in the cast with whoever this person is. But if this is who I think it is, which it probs is, the only threat that was made was towards her. It was Legally Blonde, she was playing Serena and they threatened to kick her out of the show and replace her with the understudy because she tried to get out of a TECH REHEARSAL during TECH WEEK after we all signed attendance policies that stated all of our conflicts. She even stated her job was more important than anybody else’s even though everyone took off work to be there for tech. She literally caused an entire debacle that required the board to have a discussion about what to do with her. This review is bullshit. They’re great people. Just don’t be an ass. Jerks don’t work.

    Although the money thing is true. That was hysterical but we all understood why we couldn’t get paid this season. It is the first season that they are doing as a brand new theater company so they basically just need to create a history. We all KNEW that this was a volunteer thing going into it. Something to show the banks and donors so that they’ll give more money for next season. So that ALL the actors can be points and paid.

    Take this salty person with a grain of salt. Personally I like to make my own opinions about companies. Also the director knows literally everyone and gave me KILLER recommendations for gigs.

    02/18/2018  9:18pm

    not who wrote this and not the girl who played serena. here to say that that girl is not pursuing musical theater as a career and most likely not spending time writing a review here. the fact that we all knew about that situation speaks to the rampant unprofessionalism of the director. we should not have all heard about it from his lips.

    03/05/2018  4:25pm