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Student Blog: Six Degrees of Separation - Theatre Edition!

Bacon is no more.

Student Blog: Six Degrees of Separation - Theatre Edition!

If you haven't heard of the game Six Degrees of Separation, you're missing out BIG TIME. Six Degrees is the kind of game you play on a road trip in hour 7 out of 12, when everything else has become boring.

A brief history of Six Degrees of Separation:

This fun game actually started out as a social theory: every person can be connected to another person by relationships using no more than five connections, totaling six people (or degrees). This was then developed into the game "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon," developed by students at Albright College in Pennsylvania. The premise is that any actor, dead or alive, can be connected to Kevin Bacon with six or less connections. In this version, only film work is allowed, and each actor who passes this test is assigned a Bacon number, which is the "degree" part of the game.

Now, I have always wanted to do this with theatre, and I feel that this is the perfect avenue to play with. Using databases like IBDB and regular search engines, I was able to connect many actors in the theatre world.

Here are the rules:

1. The connection must be made in six degrees, no more. The less the better!

2. When actors are connected by show, they must have worked at least one night together - this disqualifies connections from a Broadway cast to a tour cast, or one actor replacing another in the same role.

3. Connections through theatre only - no meandering through Law and Order SVU is allowed!

4. Any type of theatre production is allowed if it is easily traceable - this can go from Broadway all the way down to youth community theatre or summer camp, if mentioned in an interview or if evidence is found of the production!

5. My version only uses actors for connections - fun connections could theoretically be made through the creative teams of shows as well!

6. No rule against using search engines - it's just as hard as without one!

Some of my own:

Laura Bell Bundy to Larry Owens

Student Blog: Six Degrees of Separation - Theatre Edition!

Laura Bell Bundy was in Legally Blonde with Christian Borle

Christian Borle was in Elegies with Carolee Carmello

Carolee Carmello was in Sweeney Todd at the Barrow Street Theatre with John-Michael Lyles

and John-Michael Lyles was in A Strange Loop with Larry Owens!

Julie Andrews to Norm Lewis

Student Blog: Six Degrees of Separation - Theatre Edition!

Julie Andrews was in Victor/Victoria with Rachel York

Rachel York was in Dessa Rose with LaChanze

and LaChanze was in Baby at the Paper Mill Playhouse with Norm Lewis!

Here are some suggestions that I was given by friends:

Celia Rose Gooding and James Snyder

Student Blog: Six Degrees of Separation - Theatre Edition!

Celia Rose Gooding is in Jagged Little Pill with Elizabeth Stanley

Elizabeth Stanley was in Cry-Baby with James Snyder!

(that one was fairly quick!)

Nathan Lane and Joshua Henry

Student Blog: Six Degrees of Separation - Theatre Edition!

Nathan Lane was in The Nance with Andrea Burns

Andrea Burns was in In the Heights with Joshua Henry!

I also love playing a version of this game where you find connections between two actors who have already worked together! For example:

Matthew Morrison and Kelli O'Hara were in Light in the Piazza together, but:

Student Blog: Six Degrees of Separation - Theatre Edition!

Matthew Morrison was in Finding Neverland with Kelsey Grammar...

...and Kelsey Grammar was in the Philharmonic concert version of My Fair Lady with Kelli O'Hara!

Lots of these only require one connection, and it gets significantly harder to connect actors as the connections increase - but that just makes it even more fun! So go ahead and pick two random theatre actors, and try to connect them in a game of Six Degrees!

Citations and tools used:

Six Degrees of Wikipedia

Internet Broadway Database

The History of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon

The Science of Six Degrees of Separation

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