Every show is infused with the personality of the directors, actors and technicians. From auditions to opening night students invest hours of hard work into a production and to the actors, a show is much more than a play. Every actor has their own method of connecting with each performance. Hannah Olivarez, 11, thinks there is nothing so far away that you can’t relate to it.
”No matter how distant a character may feel from who you are, there’s always a connection," Olivares said. "Sometimes you have to dig for it, but that makes it fun and it makes you a better actor.”
Short two actors in an unexpected recasting of the Fall show Director Jeremy Ferman replaced two male leads. Sophomore Kyle Horne was brought into the role of Orpheus with five rehearsals left before opening night.
“I wasn’t really confident in myself,” Horne said, “but with everybody’s support. I feel pretty good about it now.”
Rare as they are, directors are forced to recast for a variety of reasons and actors and directors alike must remain on their toes.
“It’s difficult on everybody,” Ferman said. “Because now we have to find new costumes, we have to re-block stuff. It just adds an extra level of stress that we didn’t have before.”
Shows challenge actors physically, with intricate movement and a varying level of difficulty. From rolling through shallow pools of water for an hour and twenty minutes to rowing imaginary boats for forty, actors push themselves in a variety of uncomfortable ways. Hannah Reetz, 11, believes that each character has its own physical challenges and complexities.
“Each acting experience I’ve gone through has challenged me physically. Even when I’m playing a more basic character, I have to think about how that character would move,” Reetz said. “It’s the part of character analysis you have to take upon yourself and be willing to experiment until you find the right movements.”
In-the-Round stage design in which the audience is seated surrounding the actors did not become popular until the 1930s in American universities, but has existed as long as theater itself. This set was designed to provide a more intimate connection between actor and audience. Legacy Theater most recently performed in-the-round in 2010 with *show.* Theater director, Mr. Jeremy Ferman has always loved working in-the-round.
“It is so much fun. It’s an adventure,” Ferman said. “It is brand new for my actors and I think it’s kind of freeing.”
Set crew puts hours of work into building sets – from two story houses to in-the-round platforms, nothing is too outside the box for these technicians. The crew "sets" the scene for the actors (excuse the pun, it had to be made) and the show could not happen without their expertise. Seth Matthews, 11, played a large role in the show – onstage and off.
"It's a lot of fun. I love building," Matthews said. "When I was little I used to build everything. I would build a wooden track for my hot-wheels."
On opening night director Mr. Jeremy Ferman hands the reigns to his stage manager and they must run the show themselves, calling light and sound cues over a headset to the technicians. This year the headset during the Fall show belongs to Jenny Schnuck, 10.
“Being a stage manager is a big responsibility and I don’t really know what I’m doing,” Schnuck said. “But fake it till you make it. Don’t tell Ferman.”
During rehearsals, stage managers keep actors on task and document blocking, as well as take line notes. Ferman trusts his stag managers unconditionally by opening night.
“Typically by the time I get to opening night I’m confident in my stage manager's ability to run the show without my intervention,” Ferman said.
Costume and Make-up
Costume and make-up crew observe during the weeks of rehearsal until they design the perfect look for every actor. They work by trial and error, testing looks on their fellow crew members before settling on the final look for the show. Mason Wentz, 10, enjoys putting his own twist on the creative products.
“I would say testing, testing, then a bit of more testing, but fun in all,” Wentz said. “Mrs. Fortune and I converse about the directors’ visions for the show and then I put in my own ideas and we combine them.”
Both costume and make-up must be dramatic so everyone in the audience can see them well. The crew keeps this in mind and tests any ideas under the stage lights to ensure their choices are visible offstage. Musical Theater teacher Mrs. Sarah Fortune believes the visual aspects of the show are just as important as the acting.
“There’s just as much of a creative process with designing all of the tech elements as the acting,” Fortune said. “There’s just as much creativity behind the scenes as on the stage.”
Lights and Sound
Technicians in charge of lights and sound sit on a headset in constant communication with the stage manager, prepared to change the setting of the show entirely with just a click of a button. Abby Ewing, 11, was handed the sound controls for the first time this year and she has loved seeing the Fall show come together behind the curtain.
“It has been really fun to do sound for the first time this year,” Ewing said. “It’s very interesting seeing a show from a techie's point of view since I’m so used to being on the stage.”