Production Value (PV) is a term performers may hear as part of a General Effect judge commentary. It is the aggregate value of music/ sound, floor/set design, costumes, color and props all working together. The key to successful production value is to marry all of the above elements in a way that makes visual sense and is pleasing to the audience.
The Performer’s Role
Many people believe that PV does not involve the performer. After all, what does the performer have to do with music, floor/set design, costumes or color selection anyway? These are all things that a show designer/ instructor decides upon in the planning phase of the show— performers have no influence or power in this area, right? Wrong. Performers have more to do with PV than you realize. You see, the performer is the golden thread that weaves all PV criteria together. Without a convincing performance, all the trappings of design mean very little in the scheme of evaluation.
Embodying Your Persona
Performers must understand the persona they are to become, based on design elements and the designer’s direction. However, simply understanding is not enough; in fact it is only the beginning of your process.
From the very moment you learn the concept of your upcoming winter guard show, the responsibility lies squarely on your shoulders to fully tie the PV together and deliver it to the audience. If your show is to be a tribute to Audrey Hepburn, then it is your responsibility to begin research immediately to learn everything there is to know about her in an effort to literally become her in the performance venue.
The Great Divide?
Just one last tidbit: For some reason there seems to be a bit of a myth out there that suggests programs that are monetarily well off have an advantage over programs that may not have as many resources in this area—not true. Take action now to learn and understand as much as you possibly can about the show that is before you in this new season of winter guard.
About the Author
Chris Casteel has been involved in the color guard activity for the past 20 years. She is currently an adjudicator for Drum Corps International, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association and the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC); she travels to many other circuits throughout the United States as a guest adjudicator. For the past four years, she has held the position of education coordinator for the WGASC. She has a master’s degree in education and currently teaches middle school language arts.