Monday, August 5, 2013

Setting the Stage

Frequent readers of this blog know that I spent two weeks this summer helping a husband/wife team put on a Summer Theater Workshop for middle school and high school students.  I have an itch to create an after school drama club this year.  (I'll let you know if that turns out.)  A colleague of mine also wants to have students do theater.  She has no experience, but said to me, "How hard can it be?" 

Just because I have attended a play, it doesn't mean I can direct one.  I have lost count of the number of productions I have helped in a backstage or front of the house position.  Every time I work with someone, I learn so much about the art that is theater.  I feel barely qualified to start a small program this year, but I'm willing to try.

One of my tasks for the musical was setting water bottles and props on stage and behind the curtain so that the actors would have them at a particular part of the production.  Backstage is dark and each item needs to be in place.

Just now I have a nasty bruise on my knee because while I was setting props, I ran into a bench that someone had moved in the dark.  The audience has no idea the preparation that stage hands make to create the illusion of the production.  Just as the casual observer has no idea the preparation it takes to conduct a typical school day.

Depending upon when your school starts, you are likely setting your own stage.  Some teachers seem to have a knack for having just the right props in just the right place.  Just because someone attended school, doesn't mean they know all of the preparation that goes on.

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