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The Other Side of the Curtain

You walk into the auditorium, buttery popcorn in hand, carefully surveying the rows of velvet seats, searching for the perfect spot to sit. You choose the end of the third row from the front. This way, you decide, you will get good volume and sight.

Your family files in behind you, and you plump down on the cushy seat, getting comfortable before the performance. As you sit there, listening to people shuffling in, and trying to swat your brother’s arm out of your popcorn bag, staring up at the dark, velvet curtain separating you and the actors, you wonder: what goes on on the other side of the curtain?

It all begins when the actors wake up; they begin mentally preparing themselves for the role they are going to play. The actors also choose to wear loose, flexible clothing that they will be able to rehearse and dance in later. They go through their normal day of school, always having the mindset of their character in the back of their mind.

“ You have to put yourself in the character you are portraying even if you have a small role like chorus or if you are a lead, you have to try your best to portray the character,” said Ford.

When the school day ends, it’s rehearsal time. They grab their tap shoes, and review their lines. During rehearsal, which is Monday-Friday for two hours, the actors work on dancing, blocking (putting motions with words,) and singing. This includes memorizing words, memorizing movements including tapping for an hour, matching pitch and harmonization, and fitting for costumes.

Gabby Fatino, senior, is playing a lead in the show. She explained why she is apart of theatre.

“I’ve done music my entire life and I love performing and bringing people joy while telling a story,” said Fatino.

Her co-star Anne Price, senior, has also been doing theatre for a long time.

“ My sister Amanda was always apart of musicals since pre-school, and I just followed in her footsteps,” said Price.

The stage crew of the musical is in charge of building and painting all of the sets for the musical: dressing rooms with movable platforms, doors, a piano, and a barn. This work includes 15-20 people, one of them being Kaitlyn Thompson, sophomore.

“My favorite part has been the painting. I enjoy the painting and what’s really interesting about theatre kids is that there are some really interesting personalities,” said Thompson.

Stage crew also includes the makeup department that does all of the makeup for the cast. Talia Garcia, freshman, says that everything is going smoothly and she loves the cast that she gets to work with.

The makeup crew figures out what makeup looks best for the actor and for the character that they are playing while considering features such as age and hair length. They test different kinds of makeup on the cast and see if it looks good.

“ It’s fun because you get to interact and not just talk about what would look good. You actually get to see if it looks good,” Garcia says.  “The funniest moment is when one of the lead actors came in the room and he is looking for some guy and he’s yelling and he comes and is like ‘ Oh, shoot there’s people back here.’”

Joey Ford, senior and co-star of Fatino and Price, began theatre, because he loved putting on shows and being silly when he was little, and thought theatre was the perfect place for him.

“With every new show comes new faces. I like meeting the incoming freshman or the people who are just trying out for the first time. Being part of a cast is the best place to show your true colors,” Ford says.

Fatino, Price and Ford all agree that their theatre cast is like a family.

As the curtain opens, you imagine all the people that were scrabbling around to complete the production. And maybe, just maybe, you let your brother have a little popcorn.