Behind the curtains
As an audience member enjoying a theater production, it is obvious that a large amount of work goes into creating a musical, but how much effort is actually required to run a successful show?
Rehearsals start as early as five months before opening night, and require each and every cast member, from the lead to the ensemble, to commit fully to their character and to the show.
A musical director is brought in to rehearse all of the songs and work with the cast on their vocal abilities. Then a professional choreographer stages the major numbers of the show as well as other dance-centric routines.
Mr. Hallam blocks a majority of the scenes of the musical, giving stage directions and specific guidelines for the ensemble to follow, as well as general background information for the context of the scene.
Practice is typically 2-5 days a week, depending on which portion of the show is being arranged at the moment, and what role a specific person plays.
Stage crew is brought into rehearsals shortly after the cast is acclimated to the show, and lighting, props, sound, and staging is created. Huge pieces of the set are built, which help to truly bring the show into reality.
After a basic outline of the show is established, more detailed work goes into each scene. Every second that a cast member is on stage they must be performing the narrative specific to their character.
Once the cast and crew manage to run the show smoothly, other effects are added into the equation, including costume, lighting, and sound. Practices begin to last longer, and are typically 4-5 days a week for everyone involved in the production.
This year’s musical, Footloose, is set in the 1980s, so a lot of consideration and thought must go into the visuals of the show, in order to transport the audience back in time. Each character has a detailed wardrobe, and hair and makeup artists work with the cast to create a final product.
The lighting and sound must also be in accordance to each scene, with different emotions and storylines requiring various lighting techniques and staging.
About a few weeks before opening night, all of these factors are taken into account and the whole show is run multiple times a week in order to tweak and perfect the musical.
Despite how tiring the creation of a show can be, it is incredibly rewarding to see a successful product after months of hard work. Performing on stage opening night, and being able to say that you’re proud to have been a part of something so inspiring is truly worth all of the effort.