Lights, camera, action: behind the scenes of the little mermaid

 In theater, all eyes are always planted on the actors. It’s all the audience sees. But what they don’t notice is the students working behind the scene, making the show as great as it should be. As The Little Mermaid prepares to present on the main stage on Thursday, April 20, the stage crew, assistant directors, light and sound and stage managers equally prepare to bring the smooth, fantastic show we see in the audience.

Build Crew begins the process, starting to set up the set before the cast has even memorized their lines. Mr. Charles Cooper planned out the Scenery and Lighting design for the show, and students use their artistic abilities to take us Under the Sea.

“For this production we rented a few of the larger pieces- the statue of Prince Eric, the boat, and a couple of other things,” said Mr. Cooper. “I work with the students to make all of those various things happen.”

Stage Crew practices with the cast, bringing in props, moving the set, and making sure that the show is running efficiently when it comes to the final take.

“We have to make sure to keep the set moving fluidly from point A to point B,” Cooper said. “The students have been coming in everyday since before spring break. We’ve been working pretty much nonstop including coming in on Saturdays. They run the sound, they run the light board, and they push scenery back on stage.”

Rewo Oshe, senior and Stage Manager of the spring musical this year, is in charge of calling the cues during the actually show.

“I tell the lights or the people back stage when they need to change something, or fix something last minute during the show,” Oshe said.

The job entails a great amount of focus, experience and attention. In tough situations, the stage manager makes tough calls to make sure that the show looks great to the audience.

“Honestly, I’m a little nervous because we still have a lot to do and there’s so much that goes on during the show,” Oshe said. “But I know everything will pull together because we’ve all been practicing and working so hard.”

Other jobs include Assistant Directing, helping the staff director put the show together during practices.

“The purpose of the AD is to assist the director,” said Ginny Jablonski, junior and assistant director. “I’ve helped with blocking the show, collecting money, making the playbill, and helping in whatever way I can… I’m always helping someone else reach their goal, whether that’s helping the director figure out blocking, making sure an actor delivers a line to the best of their ability, or working with all the amazing stage moms with cast meals and the meet and greet.”

Working on roles like these give great experience to students who are looking to be a part of the theater community, without necessarily acting. It teaches leadership, responsibility, and working on props, sets, audio and lights.

The Orchestra also contributes to the creation of the production, playing all of the music that is heard.

These jobs are a crucial part of creating a show that will wow the crowd, and their recognition should be absolutely just as great as the students we see on stage.

The Little Mermaid will be at Hinsdale Central’s auditorium from April 20-22. Take the time to appreciate the hard work of Hinsdale Central actors and musical, set, and design contributors