Behind the Curtain: A Sneak Peak at the Process of Bringing a Play to Life
Most people outside of the performing arts world do not know what is actually needed to perform a show and get it on its feet. To start at the very beginning, a show requires a director, stage managers, and a cast. After that, the cast starts the process well-known as rehearsals. In this stage of production, lines are memorized, while directors and stage managers position or “block” actors, deciding where the characters should stand while lines are delivered.
Meanwhile, the set embarks on its long, difficult journey. Wood is cut, assembled, and painted, while props and other set details are produced. Lighting technicians perfect lighting to reflect the mood of each scene, and sound designers create sound effects at the director’s behest.
After a handful of rehearsals, actors have their lines and monologues memorized, and the cast goes off-book. Around this time, actors start using the set (or what is completed so far), while the crew moves set pieces on and off-stage.
When tech-week rolls around, all the costumes, makeup, sound, and lights are added for the first time ever. These rehearsals tend to be very stressful, but are necessary in that they allow the technical crew to familiarize themselves with their cues for the show.
All of this work so that a curtain can rise and an audience can suspend its disbelief for a few hours, watching characters, so much like themselves, strive to achieve their desires, sometimes successfully, other times thwarted in their attempts for success.
If you are interested in witnessing this process in action, get ready for APA’s March show, Legally Blonde, performed on the UCPAC main-stage.