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Gig&Tell: Royal One Productions

  • Theater Of The Absurd...est!    
    08/28/2018  1:35am

    A "Comedy of Errors", indeed. It was like being in a farce, or a "B", or even "C" rate movie. It was as if all your theatrical nightmares came to life, and no matter what you tried to do to help, The Grim Reaper [under the guise of Jillian P Pirtle], was going to get you anyway. The madness, the chaos, the ridiculousness, all trickled down onto the cast, like poison slowly taking its hold. In the end, we had to stay on the merry-go-round, hoping for a miracle...but we were just a [for the most part] talented, jovial cast trapped in a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship.

    When I first auditioned for RoyalOne Productions, I was auditioning for what was billed as a "Concert Version of Guys and Dolls" what ended up happening was a hodge podge half-assed fully staged event complete with 4 costume changes for absolutely no reason. Each rehearsal began with the cast being yelled at by by Jillian Pirtle because she was upset that other people were absent. She blamed everything that went wrong on the cast and took responsibility for none of it (even though she was director, lead, ticket sales, costume designer, scenic artist, etc.) During the two weeks leading up to the show, she constantly threatened to fire us, claiming she had our contracts ready to go if we wanted to leave. This was one of the absolute worst theatre experiences of my entire professional life. Do not work for this company, it's too stressful.

    08/28/2018  10:16am
  • RUN.    
    08/27/2018  9:43pm

    Let me be as clear as possible, Royal One productions is the most Chaotic, unorganized dumpsterfire of a theater group I have ever been apart of. In a comedy of "everything goes wrong" it did. There were times I looked around in dumbfoundedness to my cast mates and they all had the same look on their faces.
    So lets start with why.
    Royal One decided to do a concert musical of Guys and Dolls. Instead of strictly making it a concert musical they decided to add choreo and full on have actors on stage HOLDING THE SCRIPTS IN THEIR HANDS! It looked stupid. Like a middle school production and certainly not worth $30 a ticket. The show was scheduled for a one "night" only performance at 4pm in August. Like Huh???
    Moving forward there is a woman that runs the company who still scares me in my nightmares and genuinely thinks that this chaos is right. Her name is Jillian Pirtle. When I first started the rehearsals I was under the impression that she was only the producer and co-director. But boy was I wrong! She also happened to be the LEAD IN HER OWN MUSICAL! Miss Adelaide. Unbelievable! Weren't we all taught it's impossible to direct yourself in theater??? Because of this there was little to no direction at all. Actors literally walked around confused and not knowing where exactly to be. Ontop of the directoral Tyrant that Miss Pirtle was, her creative team was duller than a sack of Potatoes. There was a choreographer on the team that was billed as an assistant director but gave little to no input on the entire project. It was frustrating for the entire cast. We tried repeatedly to voice our frustrations in a professional manner but everytime we did, Miss Pirtle would THREATEN us with offering to hand back your contract "if you must be negative."
    Another mind blowing development on this show was that director would passive aggressively vent her inner dismay on social media. She would say, I'm #overit or "I'm at an 11!" With all of this she would have multiple accounts in her name which she regularly updated and used to like/ heart/ share her postings. Many of us in the cast were worried she had a borderline personality disorder. I swear I cannot make this crap up. Its WEIRD.
    Adding on to the BS that is Royal One, we were straight up lied to about the performance space. She told the Cast and the audience it was going to be performed at an "HISTORIC" theater in Philadelphia. When we got there it was a freaking High School. Dirty, no air conditioning, a terrible sound system and a poor unexperienced high school crew. Yep, nothing historic besides the amount of sweat that was dripping from the performers and audience members. It was so unbearable my Grandmother left at intermission due to the heat lol. OH! Did I mention we never did a full run of the show before the performance? Just a nice little side note.
    In closing the show was just unprofessional and lazy. How anyone with a degree or past experience in theater would think this is how theater should be run is out of their mind. But again the director called it an "AMAZING MOMENT FOR THE ARTS IN PHILLY." Ignoring that, let me summarize this conundrum it a little better. If at any point you alone are glorifying something but everyone is telling you the opposite, open your ears and listen because their probably on planet earth. And You're not Jillian.

  • NEVER EVER WORK HERE EVER 08/27/2018  1:34pm

    Covert Narcissism, Split personalities. Today’s case subject on Dr. Phil is Miss Jillian Patricia Pirtle, or Jillian P. Pirtle, or Jillian Pirtle personality depending on the day of the week and which social media account she uses to promote herself in the 3rd person. These aforementioned person(s) run a company if you want to call it that called Royal One Productions in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. A company that is so below mediocre, I equate it to that bag of dog poop I left on my neighbor’s porch and lit on fire for my first mischief night. Somehow, this dumpster fire of a company was able to pull together a talented, hard working, dedicated, and kind group of actors (a few of which were equity if I might add) to work on their middle school quality production of Guys and Dolls. Looking back on it, this production actually had the chance to be really good if this, “Company” actually knew what they were doing. Day 1, we find out there is no stage manager even though people asked for one. That’s red flag number 1. Two, it wasn’t even being staged as a concert like we all wanted in the first place until the last week before tech and that was dictated to us. Three, there was no director. The choreographer was billed as the director, but he never gave any blocking notes, so we think the director whole was also the producer who was also head of marketing who also gave actors line readings with no room for open discussion who also played Miss. Adeline was Jillian Pirtle. Jillian Pirtle, a woman who somehow holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from The University of the Arts and does not understand you need to hire a creative team. Who somehow does not understand that this dumpster fire with no direction and actors being forced to direct themselves is NOT WORTH $30.00 A TICKET. When you tried to ask a question of Jillian, you get screamed at. We were threatened with being fired every other rehearsal when someone would bring up a problem. Every time, all the problems in the show would be pushed onto the cast. She is the most unprofessional, vindictive human being I have ever seen working in the theatre industry. The contract was everyone had to sell 8 tickets in order to be paid. Now, I have a heart. And a soul. I WAS NOT GOING TO MAKE ANY OF MY FIRST YEAR POST GRAD OR UNDERGRADUATE ACTOR FRIENDS PAY $30 FOR THIS CHAOS. Also, who the fuck rents out a high school? The theatre which Jillian Pirtle describes as, “Historic” looked like a dumpy Church. The chairs were uncomfortable. It was dirty and NOTHING WAS DONE TO THE STAGE!!!! May whatever higher power cause this company never to produce another show again. This cast deserved so much more.

    Worst performance experience of my life. Really, really bad. Do not work for this company, Ever- no respect for actors time, seemingly no understanding of basic theatre etiquette, run by an insane person. Insane. Person. RoyalOne productions recently did a "theatrical concert version" of Guys and Dolls... The play my 7th grade English class put on in our school cafeteria had a higher production value. If you respect yourself and your craft, you will run not walk away from anything this company tries to hire you for. This is a joke.

    08/27/2018  2:03pm

    If you want to keep your integrity and sanity, do NOT work for this company!

    08/27/2018  9:12pm

    No stage manager, the director only cared about the choreography, a show in an old H.S. theater in the summer, with no a.c., students trying their best to help with tech and crew duties [with no direction or anything in writing], the producer is clearly a sick narcissist with Borderline Personality Disorder and is therefore, unreasonable, inconsiderate, and contstantly passing blame on everyone else!

    08/27/2018  9:23pm