Theatre creates original production for first show

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Senior Kaitlyn Collins directs the blocking of one the many scenes in the production class’ original show.

Kristin Gooding, Editor in chief

Performing a play is hard enough. Now add in writing, directing and teching a play. That’s the challenge Sachse Mustang Theatre’s production class has decided to take for the fall show.

Currently the theatre production class is working on a collective creation which is where a group of actors write, direct and produce their own show. The class has been working since early August on the play and will be sharing a recorded version in early December. 

The directors chose to do a collective creation over a regular show because they wanted to do something different that would allow the production class a way to be a part of the creative process of making a show. 

“I hope that students have that outlet to creatively express themselves during these difficult times and my greatest hope is that art just continues,” theatre teacher Libby Rotan said. 

The show is a combination of scenes spanning from a serious drama to a campy comedy all connected by a TMZ writer’s room style. 

“It’s a crazy combination of multiple really cool things,” junior Brooke Polvadore said. “I feel like we hit many different types of topics from a classic murder mystery to people switching bodies to the holidays. We have many different fun and funny topics.”

Due to coronavirus, a lot of safety precautions have been implemented to ensure the safety of the students. Everyone will be wearing clear masks and will be six feet apart. 

“Everything is socially distanced in the show,” Rotan said. “When we are working in class everyone is six feet apart, and we also are using plexiglass in some scenes so that the actors can get closer than just six feet and still have that safety barrier.” 

Under normal circumstances the fall show has an open casting call where anyone can audition for the show.  The fall show typically has  a cast and crew of about 30 people. This year the 13 members of the theatre production class are responsible for the entire production:  writing the show, acting, directing and teching for the show. 

“It’s definitely a good challenge of trust and teamwork,” senior Kaitlyn Collins said. “It forces you to work well with everyone else. When it comes to writing and directing though, I’d say it honestly takes some of the pressure off each individual as we have a whole team to rely on.”

This process really pushed the production class into a playwright role where they have to make sure every line works well and doesn’t feel forced.

“It was definitely new to me as I haven’t really written a fully-fleshed out show before,” senior Ronny Hammond said. “Once I started though, I found it relatively easy to get the story onto paper.”

With the limited number of cast and crew, students have had to step into roles they would not normally seek. 

“Honestly it’s kind of exciting because I get to try a new thing,” Polvadore said. “It’s also very nerve racking because I’m not used to having to step into the body of a character. “It is different from what I’m used to and pushes me out of my comfort zone.” 

Polvadore is usually a technician but has stepped into an acting role for this show.

Like any show, some challenges have arisen such as the filming aspect.

“I think filming is probably the hardest part,” Collins said. “It’s an area that I haven’t had any practice in, and it impacts everything else like blocking, lighting and costumes. When we block shows we don’t normally have to consider where to cut scenes, what angles we need to film at, or what editing skills we’ll need.”

Even though they have faced many challenges, the production class has remained optimistic through this hard time. They hope people watching will enjoy the show. 

“This year is so different but our directors work so hard to make sure we still get to do what we love, and I think this is a perfect way to still perform even with everything going on right now,” Collins said. “I want this performance to make people smile. Theatre is an escape, and I think now more than ever, people could really use that.”