The trailer for upcoming film The Standbys seems to take a new approach to the popular musical genre, providing audience members with the opportunity to see the world of theater beyond what is presented on stage. Through the lives of three undiscovered Broadway actors (Ben Crawford, Mervin Foard, and Aléna Watters), the documentary plans to uncover exactly what it means to be an understudy, someone always one step away from the stage and the highlight of one’s career.

Immediately, the trailer sets a somewhat depressing tone, revealing information about the lives of the three hopefuls that the documentary focuses on. Their cases seem hopeless, but the trailer seems to take a turn towards the end suggesting a happy ending…of course.

The lives of understudies can be heartbreaking if they never are discovered. More than capable, and often more talented than the performer, understudies go through grueling rehearsals and constantly have to be ready to perform, but rarely get the opportunity to be on stage. This concept is already tackled in the trailer with a snippet of an interview with Broadway star Bebe Neuwirth.

Filled with dramatic moments, opportunities of a lifetime, clips of performance, and even a celebrity appearance, this trailer really stuffed everything it possibly could into a mere two minutes. The documentary could end up as an inspiring film or a very depressing one, depending on how the lives of the three actors pan out. Guess no one will know for sure until it is released!

The world premiere is May 12th, 2012 at the Tony Awards Film Series.