SMILE! by Maggie Lee Hart
“A Rollicking Band of Pirates, We” have leaped through the stage doors of SCT and have been skipping to the tunes of this operatic comedy for the last twelve weeks. These “rollicking” actors consist of middle school students enrolled in our Creative Dramatics II Class, who are now entering Tech Week for Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, Jr!, directed by Mr. Chris Blair and myself. Mr. Mike and Mrs. April Prow will be our Lighting and Sound Design team, assistance in Set Design by Mr. Eric Mitchell, and assistance with Costuming by the lovely Bonnie Juengert and Renee McMahon.
So what is tech week? Tech Week is the last week of rehearsals when all elements of a production come together and the magic of finalizing the show begins. By the time these technical rehearsals begin, the cast of a production should feel comfortable and secure with the flow and orchestration of their show. This is an important element, because much of the focus from the Director will be geared towards the technical elements of the production instead of the actors. It is at this time that we rely on these young actors for patience and concentration. Mr. Chris, with his ability to move larger set pieces, will be backstage with the students to make sure all is running calmly and quietly, while I will be up at the lighting board behind the sparkly glittered sign that says “SMILE”! I love this sign because it is a friendly reminder that what we are doing on that stage is a play, and to take it literally, it is just playing! What fun it is to be able to portray a pirate with a peg leg, or a silly and flexible police officer, or even a maiden who has a fear of water, yet lives on the ocean’s coast.
One of the highlights I thoroughly enjoy within this week is the time and focus an actor gives towards the choreography and blocking of each moment. The students are given this opportunity during the long hours of rehearsal to really center in on those 4 W’s; the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, and WHY of their character. This week leading up to the opening performance holds some of the most exciting moments for the cast. I look forward to seeing smiling faces on stage, and proud and supportive friends and family of every student on SCT’s stage. The hard work towards their growth as young performing artists is most definitely something to applaud. Let’s all and give a “Hurrah” for this coming weekend of performances: November 8th at 7:30pm and November 9th and 10th at 3:00pm! Click here for tickets!