Dear Incredibly Talented and Inspired Writer:Once again we are gearing up for the annual Hexagon revue! We hope you can attend our writers' meeting on Wednesday evening, December 10, 7:30 p.m. at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church at Chevy Chase Circle.
Hexagon is an all volunteer organization that produces an annual musical political satirical revue to benefit a local charity. Hexagon shows consist of original songs and skits that spoof the Washington political and social scene. There would be no show at all without creative writers like you.
We need sketch and joke writers, composers, arrangers, lyricists. But basically we need smart-alecks: funny, clever and creative people who can help write sharp satire. No subject is out of bounds as long as itis funny.
Even though the show doesn't open until next March, it is never too early to get your creative juices flowing. If you already have outlines, drafts, or finished material, great! Please bring them.
But at least bring yourself and be prepared to brainstorm. You can bring original ideas and/or you can collaborate with others to develop original satirical material. Any material used in the 1998 Hexagon show belongs to the author. You can even copyright it!
And there is always the telephone, e-mail and the postal service.
I hope to see you at this or future meetings. Feel free to contact mewith questions or brilliant suggestions, or to send drafts or other written material.
Phil Alperson, materials coordinator
9404 Columbia Boulevard
Silver Spring, MD 20910
202-333-SHOW x 8
DO NOT CALL the church for more information.
What is a Hexagon
Like most revues, it has music and skits and is fully costumed and orchestrated. It also has "newsbreak" segments that can be updated daily. The cast approximates 60 to 90, depending on who auditions and the whim of the directors. Rehearsals run for two months and we perform four weeks in March, with shows Wednesday thru Sunday.
Hexagon uses original material; in rare instances do we accept outright parodies. It is not unheard of for us to borrow liberally, however.For example, "Who's On First" has been re-created several times. Chickens auditioning for Frank Perdue sounded a lot like the cast of "A Chorus Line". A trio sounding mysteriously like the Andrew Sisters sang about harassment in the military.
You can write lyrics to a familiar tune, and a composer or arranger can make it original.
The show title is "Of Thee We Zing", which is about as much of a theme as there is: Hexagon shows are satirical and poke fun at politics and Washington life.
Being a revue, this is a variety show and we want a variety styles from pointed satire to gentle ribbing, from skits to solo songs to big tap song-and-dance production numbers.
Don't hold back!! Nothing is out of bounds as long as it is funny. If we don't offend someone we aren't doing are job.
There is no script or even an outline. The material depends entirely upon YOU, the writers, to come up with good stuff.
The only "requirement" is a kick-line song to close Act One. The kickline is a tradition going back to Hexagon's first show in 1956. This can be a rockettes-style kick, or not.
The show generally has an opening theme song reflecting the show title and a closing "thanks for putting up with us" song. Act Two generally begins with a big production number, sometimes an Oratorio or Requiem. For maybe 25 years we have had "newsbreaks" and we will again this year.
Who performs in the show and what do they
The Directors will cast the show from auditions held in January. Cast sizes generally range from 60 to 90. The script is not set when the cast is assembled in January. People should not expect to be the "star" of the show. They should expect to "go with the flow" as the material is written.
The show consists of some full-cast numbers (generally, the opening and closing songs and a couple of other numbers). There are large group songs, small group songs, trios, duets and solos. There are skits and there may be short "fillers" and running gags. And there will be newsbreak segments, probably two in each act, featuring different local newscasters and other celebrities each night.
Who can write for Hexagon?
Anyone can contribute. There are some people who have written for several years, but we are always looking for fresh points of view.
Some people write skits. Some write jokes. Some write lyrics, music,or orchestral arrangements. Some do all of the above.
Some people are "idea people". They have ideas that can become songs or skits, or they can help other people develop their ideas. The four writers meetings can initiate "brainstorming sessions" or can put like-minded people together to create material.
Who owns Hexagon
This is the deal: The authors own their material, not Hexagon. Authors frequently obtain copyrights. But anything submitted to Hexagon may be used by Hexagon in perpetuity: it might be used this year, or maybe not this year but next year or in the future. It might be performed by Hexagoners for the next 50 years. But if Hexagon uses it you will be credited and your name and material will be seen by thousands of people. Remember, Hexagon does not make a profit from your work; local charities do.
How does material get into the show?
Eleanor Dicks, the Director, has the final say. A small committee will review all submissions and make recommendations to Eleanor and to the writers. We may ask the authors to make changes, from minor edits to major re-writes.
When submitting material, it is essential to consider these points: