Thursday, May 19, 2011


For the past two weeks, I've been kind of busy - thus the lack of blog posts.  In the evenings I've been rehearsing for Oklahoma and during the day I've been helping out with the odds and ends of production.

When watching a show, I've been aware of the concept that people worked on costumes, gathered props, constructed sets and painted.  But there is so much more to those tasks than you can imagine in just watching a show.

Oklahoma has a cast of 60 plus people.  Everyone has a costume.  Most have two.  I have four.  Start doing the math.  Most of the costumes were pulled from the theater's extensive closet so only twenty or so costumes had to be made.  But all the costumes had to be fit, hemmed and trimmed.  Accessories have to be found - we are in Belgium and we needed cowboy hats, gun holsters and chaps.  I'm impressed that these things were found.

The script has reference to many different props - knives, playing cards, garters, fancy underwear, elixir bottles, picnic hampers, a saddle and more.  Our props mistress had to find all these things, organize them and lay them out backstage so we can find them easily.

Our set has been in the works for weeks now.  Aunt Eller's house has been under going construction and renovation for the entire time.  Drops and wings have been painted and shaded and touched up.  Some set pieces have been painted four times until just the right look has been achieved.  I watched one of the set painters spend over 8 hours putting clouds in the sky.  I don't have any idea how many hours the other set painter spent painting corn but she was at it for days.   As I don't have the artistic talent to paint anything, I've tried to help with the more mundane tasks.  I painted wing extensions black, painted trim on the house, and covered various boxes with the appropriate base coat so that they could be dry brushed later.  Screw heads and staples are all touched up with matching paint colors.  The attention to detail is quite admirable.

The hours required to put on a show are incredible and in community theater most are volunteer.   Now that I've seen the work up close, I appreciate it more and am grateful for the people who take the time to make what happens on stage look fantastic.

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