• Drum Set and Percussion Setups from Musical Theatre and More

Mark Carson - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Mark’s setup for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at the Shakespeare Theater, Harman Center for the Arts, in Washington, DC.

This production was orchestrated by Dan DeLange and music directed by Adam Wachtner.

“The process was different for me on this production. Normally I would get an instrument list and practice parts about 10-14 days before the first rehearsal and then things would change a bit during the rehearsal process. For this production I was sent just a few charts and a vague instrument list two days before the first read. I also received a note that the xylophone needed to be over the bass drum to play xylophone and kit at the same time so that became the centerpiece of the setup. I started to devise a setup based on the charts I had, placing instruments played most often closer and also considering things that needed to be played simultaneously. As charts trickled in, the setup kept changing and then we moved to the pit which is really a platform in the trap room. I set up there and we did the Sitzprobe and all seemed fine. But then the next day, I had to make space for one of the courtesans to stand on a ladder and throw babies on the stage - it is show business after all - so I had to move several instruments to less than ideal locations on my right side rather than the left.

I have a nice large screen monitor to catch effects on stage and a smaller analog monitor to see the Musical Director.

During tech, the choreographers fell in love with the Miller Machine and the possibilities for adding finger cymbal and triangle in several numbers. The two Miller Machines are essential for this production - real life savers.”