Megan Vandeberghe – ‘16 A hushed silence sweeps the ocean of people anticipating only the best of the best. The lights calm their glow until they go out completely, and the orchestra chimes in on a chord setting the tone, and overflowing the atmosphere. A distinctive aura is radiated throughout an auditorium filled with high expectations and foreseen awe.
What comes with the exhilaration of presenting a work in progress of close to one hundred people for months? Stress. Angst. What if something goes horribly wrong?
The average play, regardless of professionality, comes with the weight of an elephant set on each individual’s shoulders: Memorize your lines. Build the set. Find your costume. Don’t mess up.
Now let’s add music to the list.
The orchestra, singers, and dancers, all rehearsing until their lungs gasp for air, or their work has surpassed the height of perfection; whichever happens last.
Musical theatre has been around since the early 20th century, and you can probably assume that a lot has changed since then. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is the stress level. If anything it has only increased.
Head Technician Andrew Long ‘16 dedicates his time to Romeo Theatre Company consistently, and he still feels the pressure coming on.
“Musicals are a lot more work because they typically include larger sets, we have to incorporate moving parts into the set, and it’s very critical timing,” Long said.
An addition to the seemingly endless to-do list is the cost. Thousands upon thousands of dollars go into this project that will last approximately three days. All this money for three days of glory; worth it? Completely.
The logic that gets programmed into someones brain after they’ve spent mass amounts of money is to try to stop spending mass amounts of money. For example: this year Romeo Theatre Company saved approximately $5,000 by having Romeo High School graduate Sean Earle write a theme song for the show Fame. The expensive alternative of using the title song “Fame” was turned down as soon as director Kendra Walls realized she could help create a show that will be just as good, if not better with original music.
Now to tie back in, saving money costs work. A hit theme song isn’t written overnight and neither is the inspiration to do so. Some may see this as extreme measures to save five grand, but I see it as genius.
It’s plain and simple: you get out what you put in. With the excess amount of work and attention paid to details in such a show as this, there is no turning back when you’re halfway there. The dedication, persistence, and passion that these actors, singers, and technicians are portraying is unmistakable.
“Musical theatre is so important to me because it allows me to express myself in a way that isn’t speaking. I’ve always had trouble finding words, and musical theatre helps me convey emotion in a way that I can understand. It helps you find yourself and say how you feel without speaking.” Mackenzie Sprecher ‘16 said.
When you’re up on that stage, you’re invincible. Untouchable. Nothing compares to the glare of the blinding lights in your eyes and the gazes of hundreds of audience members that you can’t see all held completely by your skill. Perhaps this is why theatre people keep doing what they’re doing. The work, time, dedication, and money is no match for the feeling pursued in the few, infinite moments you possess and control on stage.