As you know, the end of the semester is upon us, and with that, another fabulous production from our very own College Players.
This year, I decided to take some time off from the whole acting spiel in order to focus on my classes and my job at the Robotics and Spatial Systems Lab. But that didn’t mean I wouldn’t be there to support my friends and past cast mates! So I decided to go to the opening night production of the show this year.
This year’s production, ‘The Butler Did It…Singing!’, is a very different spin on your average murder mystery. The story takes place on in island in a lavish house where the wealthy Miss Maple decides to invite various acclaimed murder mystery authors to spend the weekend in the house as their alter egos. In order to sustain her reputation as an outstanding host, she throws in various twists and schemes to keep the murder mystery theme alive, that is, until an actual murder takes place!
It was really different to experience a College Player’s production from the other side. Sitting amongst the crowd, observing, was very different than actually being on stage putting on the show. It also gave me a chance to really appreciate the effort and talent that goes into putting on productions like these. Of course, I already knew how hard it is to be an actor or actress in the show and I know from experience the long hours spent in Gleason, rehearsing and singing over and over until the process becomes a natural progression of going through the motions. But, what I had never truly appreciated as an actress is the amount of people behind the scenes who put in lots of hard work and make these productions come alive.
There is a very large group of people working behind the scenes that usually don’t get the praise they deserve. Without them, there would be no show to put on. For starters, the people in the sound and light booth –they have so many queues to remember throughout the show, which have to be delivered at such precise times. They have to learn the script inside out just as much as the actors do. Same with the tech crew, they are the people who choose to do so much, but also choose to disappear and not be seen. I remember when performing Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, they were the ones handing me props and helping me tie my shoes and fix my hair in a matter of seconds back-stage. Their effort never gets seen by anyone other than the cast and is usually never commended.
The people that build and decorate the sets also deserve more appreciation. The set for ‘The Butler Did It…Singing!’ came out absolutely beautiful! It’s incredible how this team of people can replicate a house or a hotel or train in just a few weeks. Lastly, the one person who is the most underrated of them all, the director. This is the person who stays awake for days straight and is making sure everything is perfect, right down to the last minute details. This is the person who has to be in charge of all the different aspects of musicals like these. Lighting, sound, orchestra, acting, sets, tech; the director has to overview and guide all these different areas of production. I really praise all my past directors that have created such wonderful productions which I have been in, and which I have observed. You truly take on a very daunting task.
So, this semester, be sure to go and watch the amazing production of “The Butler Did It…Singing!’ It has wonderful singing, terribly funny puns, and a ”head of lettuce”….go watch it and you’ll get it! Be sure to give praise to everyone involved, not just the actors and actresses.