The Art of Theater
By: Jaelynne S.
Almost everyone has been to see at least one theater production. What about it made it stick in your memory? Was it the beautiful music that soared to the ceiling? Was it the story that the actors brought to life? Was it the eye-popping set? Do you remember the sights, sounds, smells, even tastes?
Theater is an art. Many, many things go on that you don’t even see to keep things running smoothly. Let me list the things and people that go into every theater production.
- Actors – Actors are the key to a good theater production. Actors can be man, woman, or child. A lot is expected of an actor! They have, essentially, the whole play on their shoulders. They have to memorize, in most cases, page after page of lines. Add a bunch of stage directions, song lyrics for musicals, choreography, and more on top of the lines, and you have an actor’s workload. It takes a special personality to be an actor; someone who doesn’t have stage fright, is diligent, has a good memory, a good voice, and isn’t afraid to learn and do hard things. Above all, they have to know how to get their act together!
- Backstage crew – Oh, all the crew can do! The crew is the glue that holds the play together. They have to stay on their toes, always alert, awaiting their next queue. The crew is in charge of basically everything that you don’t really see, but is so, so important. They man the lights, making sure they go on and off at the right times. They pull the heavy set pieces onto the stage with less than a minute to do it, then take them off again with the same time limit. They make sure all the props are where they should be. They build and paint the set too. If you are put in the position of the backstage crew when you audition, don’t be disappointed. You have a very important job!
- Audience – Even if you don’t know it, when you buy a ticket and sit down in a theater seat, you are one of the important elements of theater! If it wasn’t for the audience, then what would be the point of theater? When the audience responds to the acting, with applause, laughter, cheers, or tears, then the actors respond and feed off that. It gives them energy and motivates them to be even better… for you!
- Director – The director is the person in charge of the whole cast and crew. He or she will make sure that everyone understands what to do, and when to do it. If an actor is having trouble with their script, the director is the one they go to for help. The director has the dreams, the ideas, and the inspiration for the production. Their ideas are sky high, full of fun, unexpected twists and turns. They usually come up with the set and costume design as well. Make sure you treat your director great, because they have a lot of stress during play season to deal with.
- Design – Things that are elements of design are the set, costumes, and dance. Those three things are the eye candy of theater. The set is painted spectacularly, and it can be grand, minimalist, or somewhere in between. No matter what the size of your set, it always enhances the production. Costumes help set the scene, and also show the actor’s personality as well as the time the story is set in. Dances are usually only in musicals, but they are fun to watch and fun to do. They can help the production stick in your head.
- Text – This is a simple but important element. It includes the script and music. It holds the key to a successful performance.
Put all these things in a bowl, mix them together, throw it in the oven, and you’ll get a beautiful theater production for everyone to enjoy. Bon appetite!