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Super Troupers Behind the Scenes

The Countless Hours and Diligence that go into a Theatrical Production
TK Photography

Being a part of West Orange High School’s theater department is unlike any other program. It is a team built up of performers doing their best on stage and technicians working hard backstage to ensure the show looks perfect. This team, no matter what position, puts in hours each day to guarantee they are presenting the best show possible for their audience.

This fall, West Orange’s Theatre Department is presenting the show Mamma Mia in early October. Ellie Meurer, 12, is an example of a highflyer who always strives to do her best when performing onstage. In this show, she is playing the lead role of Donna.

“I prepare [for a role] by studying and learning about the character. I love the character of Donna so much, I look at the character of Donna just as an older version of myself,” said Muerer.
Meurer starts each rehearsal by making siren noises to warm up her voice and drinking tea. She focuses on eating healthy when a show is in season as she believes this will help her on stage during a performance and put her in the best shape to become her character.

While Muerer and the other actors are onstage in the back of the auditorium, stage management, sound tech, and lighting tech run the show. Rachel Robinson, 12, is part of stage management and is one of the sound designers. During the show, her job is to make sure the show is visibly and audibly outstanding.
“I listen to what they need and I am always ready to help them so I can see them accomplish their goals,” said Robinson.

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To have the best possible show, Robinson must get a lot of sleep, work off of a checklist, and work through any challenges with her staff. She spends the entirety of the rehearsal process, with additional tech-focused late nights to prepare for the show. Making sure that all tasks are completed to make sure that the show can have the greatest outcome.

Theatre students are constantly dedicated to their craft, spending hundreds of hours a year to put on their shows. Students spend an average of six hours a day, over 30 hours a week, and almost 1,000 hours per season working on a show.

Because of the amount of late hours, the thespians spend more time together than they do at home with their families, making them rely on each other for more than just a production. This causes deep bonds to form between cast and crew, which helps the show to be built on a solid foundation of trust.

“The connection begins outside of the show because I’m around these people a lot in general,” Meurer said. “Through all the rehearsals and practicing, you learn to be best friends with everyone in the show.”

Both technicians and actors put so much work and effort into this department to create the most outstanding shows possible. Even though to the outside eye their hours seem insane, in the end, it is worth it for them as the audience always loves and appreciates the performance.

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About the Contributor
Nick Novak
Nick Novak, Yearbook Staff
Nick Novak is a junior at West Orange and is reporting on the sports crew for the yearbook. Hi is also a performer for the West Orange High School's theatre department. This is his first year on the school's yearbook and magazine department as he loves writing and highly enjoys photography. In his free time he loves playing football and watching sports.
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