Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's a Musical! It's a Play! It's ENCORE!

Recall the last time you experienced something amazing! It might have been a great meal…or an incredible vacation…or the miracle of childbirth…or an awe-inspiring sighting of a UFO! Bottom line, these experiences had a “wow” factor that made them memorable. Each is a unique and unforgettable experience in its own special way.

An unforgettable experience is the creative force behind each of Encore Vocal Ensemble’s performances. We carefully craft everything we do, from the song selections, to the script development, to the costume creation, in order to bring to the stage an unparalleled performance.

But the true question is what makes Encore performances so unique, so unforgettable, and so fabulous?!

Encore has developed a special “formula” that leverages a special blend of creative ingenuity that may remind you of other theater experiences. We are part musical, part theatrical play, and all passion!  Our approach to performance is based on our passion for music. We seek to display a variety of music from both stage and screen that visually tells a story. We weave these song selections into an original Encore script that takes the performance from a mere choral performance into the realms of theatrical storytelling that incorporates the best of musical and play performance. Our satirical undertones and locally-grown talent blend together into a rich, dynamic show that no other group in the nation has yet to replicate. We rely on the contributions of our talented singers, playwrights, musical directors and costume designers to deliver a show that fosters community spirit and a passion for the arts. 

Check out our next performance, Out of Time, at The Garfield Theatre on June 21st and 22nd. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door. The mere show description alone highlights our unique nature and creativity:

A Futuristic, Post-Apocalyptic, Time-Traveling, Steam Punk, Dystopian,
Wormhole-Filled Musical Journey through the Ages.  

Also, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and right here on our blog series, where future shows and events will be announced. Don’t forget to check out our past performances on YouTube.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Costume Creation - How To from the Encore Creators

Our imaginations can be our greatest asset! They provide fuel for everything from creating the perfect meal, to planning the fun vacation, to impressing your boss with your latest idea! But sometimes we all need a little creative inspiration. Encore Vocal Ensemble shares a peek into our costume creative madness below so that next time you need to play dress up, you will be prepared to unleash the full fury of your creative genius!

Kacey Wehr, Costume Director for Encore, provides some insight into the process we use to create an eclectic and unique costume montage for each of our shows.

Kacey provides Encore performers with a simple starting point of thinking of the genre you want to portray. For instance, you may be thinking cowboy western, Italian mafia, or creepy ghost. This will enable you to then list out key words and images that come to mind. Let’s say you want to go for a cowboy (or cowgirl) look. Some key words that come to mind are: west, gold, guns, saloon, cowboy hat, boots, spurs, whiskey. Additionally, think of image categories that come to mind such as Gold Rush, John Wayne, Ghost Town, etc.

Now that you’ve created a list of words and images, hit the keyboard and search for images that inspire. Google Images is a great place to start, but be sure to use the Advance option to narrow down your search. Pinterest is another excellent source. You can search by keyword and explore various Pin boards of users. Many times there are Pin boards dedicated to a certain topics -- such as Western Costumes -- that make your search that much easier.

Next, Kacey advises that you search your closet to see what you may already have. Also, don’t be shy to ask your friends and family what they may have…you may be surprised to find out they have past outfits that could suit you perfectly! Keep in mind that even though you may have started with one costume concept, you may uncover some items that lead you from cowboy to astronaut. Don’t be afraid to keep options open or consider mixed-genre options such as a Space Cowboy or the first Ghost President. The options are limitless!

Once you have explored options (and dug out all the closets you can gain access to), it may be time to hit streets and e-Shops for further options. Kacey recommends checking out your local Thrift shops and Goodwill stores. You’d be surprised what may be lurking on their hangers! Also, if the season is right, you may consider exploring Halloween shops or year-round costume stores. Though they be a little pricier, if you are dedicated to a fabulous idea, then the investment might be worth it. Finally, the wealth of items available online is incredible. It may take time to hunt down some items (especially if unique), but may be worth the effort if you find a perfect match and the perfect price! For instance, you may be looking for a rhinestone-studded pink cowboy hat. Although you could create one from an existing cowboy hat (think Michael’s craft shop), a quick online search may result in a real find! In fact, I just Googled pink cowboy hat and immediately found options that were less than $10!

The final step in any costume endeavor is to run it by some other people (family, friends, colleagues) to see if they could provide any further ideas or recommendations. This may be an important step, especially if you are dressing for a work party and are unsure if the costume is “appropriate”, or if you are, let’s say, in a show (i.e. Encore Vocal Ensemble performance) in which you need to receive approval from the costume coordinator. Once you receive thumbs up, start building your new costume! 

Below are some online resources you may find useful in your creative process. In the meantime, check out our upcoming show Out of Time on June 21st and 22nd, 2014. CLICK HERE to buy tickets and view details.