Opinions: A Paige from Her Book: etc… and then some

To the everyday student, etc… may simply be short for etcetera but for me etc… means family.

It means hard work, dedication, friendship and most importantly Eureka Theatre Company.

For etc..’s fall musical “9 to 5” the cast and crew will have spent over 155 hours on the production, the equivalent of working 9 to 5, five days a week for a month.

Most people do not understand the amount of work that goes into a typical etc… production.

There is construction crew, who makes all of the sets. etc.. sets are intricate and until seeing a set firsthand, unless watching the sets evolve from raw lumber and nails, one cannot begin fathom the work construction crew puts into a single set piece.

For “Mame” in 2010, the set was two stories, with a curved staircase going up to the second floor. It was the most breathtaking set that I have ever gotten the opportunity to perform on.

The set for last year’s production of “The Drowsy Chaperon included an entire kitchen and bathroom.

Props crew is also crucial to etc…, especially for the production “9 to 5.” This show takes place in the late 1970s in an office, requiring objects like typewriters. etc.. simply does not just acquire these items, props crew works relentlessly to find such crucial pieces in the humongous etc… props closet and by making phone calls and asking to borrow certain pieces.

Light crew presents obvious need because without them, the production would be at an elementary level. The amount of power the lighting has on the mood of a show is inconceivable to the average play-goer.

Sound crew is important because throughout any show there are microphone changes between actors backstage. If sound crew did not kill the microphones during such switches, the magic of the show would dissolve. Audiences would hear, “Where is my other shoe?” or “Is our entrance coming up soon?”

Publicity crew is another vital aspect of etc.. They are responsible for selling ads for the program, publicizing the production and making the programs. Publicity crew works hours to ensure ads are sold so etc… can have proper funding. They also make signs for around school and the community to make sure people come to enjoy the production.

Costume crew transforms 15-year-old Janna Schmid into Violet, the 40-something single mom trying to become the CEO. Again, the fact that this show is a period piece presents major work for costume crew. Costume crew goes through the several closets of etc.. costumes, borrows costumes from other facilities such as Marquette, buys new costumes and even makes entirely new outfits. They also are in charge of quick changing actors backstage during scenes in which actors sometimes only have one song to change completely and be back on for their next scene.

Production team is the main reason Ms. Allmendinger keeps her sanity. There is a stage manager, assistant director and assistant stage manager.  These people are Miss A’s eyes, ears and throat, carrying out her job when other problems arise and she must take care of. All of these crews and cast members are in different locations, some in the new theatre, some in the Write Track, some in the old theatre and some in the hallway. It would be impossible for Ms. Allmendinger to keep track of all activities going on at once without the production team. Thirty-one members in crew postitions and 31 members in the cast in four locations requires four Ms. As not one.

Then there are actors. Actors in a musical must not only master their lines, but also work hard to learn all the choreography and music of the show. “9 to 5” has 21 musical numbers with 10 large chorus numbers. Actors run a single musical number over and over with endless hours of cleaning (a theatre term for making dances preformance-ready) to reach perfection.

Hours and hours of work, our dedication and our commitment to be better make our shows the pinnacle of high school theatre. Ms. A holds the standards of a professional theatre rather than a high school theatre. The production is our job: we have to show up on time, ready to work the entire session and do what our boss asks of us. Holding us to high standards pushes us to preform to our highest potential.

We are a family. We need everyone to pull everything together as a group to be ready for that final set display, musical number, ticket sold, costume change, curtain fall, etc…