The Musical: Taking a Peek Behind the Curtain

Behind-the-Scenes of a musical at  ELHS

By Emma Caulfield

The audience only sees the show when the curtains go up, but what they don’t experience is the months of preparation and hard work that go into putting on a musical. Costumes, sets, lighting, and sound are all fundamental aspects that are often overlooked by audience members but take effort and preparations. The show has been chosen, but what happens from then to showtime?
“It’s always difficult to cast the shows as sometimes there are many people right for one part. Ultimately Ms. Bentley and I try to include everyone who auditions in parts that will really highlight their specific talents and personalities,” said Alexander Kydd, co-director of the Drama Club’s productions alongside Amy Melissa Bentley.
Kydd says that he and Bentley review tapes taken at auditions and discuss who would be best suited for each role.
Senior Hannah Scheyder has been a part of Drama Club since her freshman year and is playing Fiona in this year’s production of “Shrek the Musical.”
“I’ve learned a lot from my time on stage – there’s nothing like the community you build with your cast, along with the trust you need to put in each other to help carry the weight of the story when you’re offstage. It’s an incredibly rewarding environment that I hope everyone feels open to try at some point in their life,” said Scheyder.
According to the National Endowment for the Arts, teenagers who have a heavy involvement with the arts show more academic success than teenagers not involved.
Amongst the hard work that the actors put in on stage, backstage, the crew is working just as hard.
As a head of the costume department, senior Lexi Revoir has many responsibilities. She has to take measurements, assign costumes, make sure they are properly taken care of, buy costume pieces and sometimes even sew original costumes. For a dance number in the show all of the skirts must be handmade for the actors.
“The most difficult part of being costume head is just making sure that everything is done and everyone is doing the job they’re supposed to be doing. As long as everyone is clothed, treating their costumes properly, and the other people in costumes are doing their jobs then it makes the job a lot easier,” says  Revoir.
Kydd says that in order to draw in a large audience, the Drama Club must “advertise via many different outlets: social media, flyers, word of mouth, signs around the four corners and last year we were fortunate enough to have had a front page article in The Day.”
This year’s show is approaching – come see “Shrek the Musical” on March 8, 9, 10.

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