50 Shades! The Musical
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BWW Blog: Meet Ashley Ward of Off-Broadway's 50 SHADES! THE MUSICAL - Tech Week Tango

March 3
8:10 AM 2014
BWW Blog: Meet Ashley Ward of Off-Broadway's 50 SHADES! THE MUSICAL - Tech Week Tango Hello BroadwayWorld readers! My name is Ashley Ward and I am one of the writers and performers in the Off Broadway show 50 Shades! The Musical, a parody based on the book. We're currently in previews (which is really fun!) but prior to previews is that crazy time known as tech week!

Prior to last week, I hadn't really done a tech week since college. I have a BFA in Musical Theater, but most of my time in New York has been spent in the improv and sketch comedy world where tech consists of an hour or two (usually late at night when the theater is finished with shows) doing the best you can to make your show work with the lights that are up. There is usually just one person doing tech and everyone involved is freaking out about how we'll never be ready. Needless to say that is not how tech week for 50 Shades! went down.

There is a village of people with teeny tiny lights out in the audience (and backstage) making sure everyone is lit, miked, clothed, bewigged, bepropped etc. There is a ton of spike marks and glow tape being laid down to make sure the time spent teching isn't a total waste once the blinding lights come on and an audience is upon us! So much stuff that can really be taken for granted but it's what makes the whole thing work as if by magic.

BWW Blog: Meet Ashley Ward of Off-Broadway's 50 SHADES! THE MUSICAL - Tech Week Tango
So many people with tiny lights making the magic happen! Plus spooky monitor version of our musical director Michael Murray!

All of this takes time. A LOT of time and a lot of standing around. I counted the standing as exercise on Fit Pal (it was my only entry). During that time actors start to get antsy and bored. Thankfully our cast and crew is full of hilarious, fun people who are also easy on the eyes. So while we were waited to move to the next cue we spent a lot of time laughing, acting like idiots and ogling each other. Thank goodness we all get along like gangbusters! Otherwise this blog post might have taken a far more solemn turn.

BWW Blog: Meet Ashley Ward of Off-Broadway's 50 SHADES! THE MUSICAL - Tech Week Tango
A punchy cast with very little body fat! (L to R) Kaitlyn Frotton, Adam Hyndman, Chloe Williamson, Tim Murray and Alec Varcas.

That's about it for now. I have to get ready for a two show day! Next time I'll talk a bit about the new character added to our show: the audience! Until then, as Christian Grey would say, "Laters baby!"

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Guest Blogger: Ashley Ward Ashley Ward is an actor, singer and writer originally from Conyers, GA. Ashley has been performing improv and sketch comedy in New York for the last 10 years and continues to perform with several groups including PIT house team Big Black Car, Taco Supreme, and The Scene as well as the one act musical "Seventeen Seventy Something" playing at UCB. She also performs with musical improv powerhouse Baby Wants Candy in New York , around the country and at the last two Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, as well as short run in London. Additionally she is a proud Striking Viking Story Pirate and a Jeopardy! champion. Ashley has a degree in Musical Theater from Webster University in St. Louis. In addition to performing live, Ashley has been in many comedic shorts and web series as well as the feature film "Breakup at a Wedding". She is currently playing Carol in the off broadway production of "50 Shades of Grey" and is one of the writers of the production.