IT’S NOVEMBER. The marking period is coming to an end, and everyone is rushing to finish that one last paper or cramming for that terrifying math quarterly. Fortunately, along with the rush for grades, the much anticipated fall play presented by the JP Stevens Theater Company also opens to students.
This year’s fall theater production, “The Tempest,” centers around the wizard Prospero, who is banished from his dukedom by his brother Antonio. Prospero schemes to reclaim the dukedom from Antonio by trapping Antonio and his men on his island during a storm.
As the performance date quickly approaches, the cast braces itself for increasingly tenuous rehearsals. Actors must learn their lines and add personal touches to each scene, so that “the character is more than a few lines on the script, it’s a second personality,” according to sophomore Julia Rocha, who plays the drunk Stephano.
Like any production, the people behind the scenes are just as important as those on the stage. From lighting to art crew to costumes,each aspect of the production is covered meticulously to ensure maximum quality. Every Saturday, and even on some weekdays, all of the crew members meet together in the JP auditorium to work on the entire set. During these meetings, posters advertising the play are made, costumes are stitched, the background scene is painted, and the set is built. “Lots of people assume the actors are the only ones who put in a lot of time for the play,” says junior Ryan Wall, House Manager and a member of the Production Team. “Members of the Art Crew and Tech Crew put countless hours into weekly construction because we want to create the whole atmosphere that makes the play as great as it is.”
As opening day gets closer, time spent on construction lengthens in order to finish all of the props and set. But for actors, the workload is the same. “Actors sometimes have to sacrifice everything, including sleep,” says sophomore Julia Rocha. “But in the end, it’s worth it.”
All theater members can agree that friendships are formed and pride is shared when the doors open and people flood in, admiring the performances and talents of so many individuals. But nothing would be possible without the behind-the-scenes work that goes into every performance. Every member of the theater club worked tirelessly to bring the best possible show to the audience.
As sophomore Gira Mistry, a member of the JP Theater Art Crew, says, “When people come to see the show, they only see the end result. But when you work on it the entire time, you appreciate all of the work that goes into it.”