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Working backstage on any theatre
production can be stressful and tiring, but
for a theatre person, it’s also pure fun. It
is rewarding seeing your hard work pay
off when a show comes together and the
audience enjoys it.
Most people don’t know all of the things
that go into making a show. The actors
and tech people don’t just show up and
do whatever, and the sets don’t magically
appear. There are long practices and work
weekends for such things as building and
painting sets.
Working behind the scenes may be less stressful
than learning all the lines or songs or, in the case
of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” tap dancing. Some
students say they would prefer to be an actor, but
because they don’t have the time to be at every
rehearsal they work backstage instead.
“I think I would like to continue to work backstage
for more of the shows here. It’s actually a lot more
fun that I thought it would be,” said Joey Merlotti,
a freshman from St. Louis.
Merlotti had some experience working backstage
on a show in high school. For “The Drowsy
Chaperone” he is the assistant stage manager, and
he says he’s learned a lot from Dustin West and
Molly Feldt.
“I do act as well as work backstage. I enjoy both
of them because you get to see how much work
each side has to put in for a show to even happen,”
Merlotti said. “I think that when you’re an actor
you rely on your crew and vice versa.”
By Becky Roberts, staff writer
Working backstage on a show can be one of
the best experiences of someone’s life. Making
memories is a favorite.
“I’ve had set pieces fall apart, props go missing
when they need to be in the scene that’s coming
up, I have had lights blow fve minutes before
house opens, and cues for lighting ghost (which
means the light stays up until you manually bring
down each light),” said Maddie Meyer, a senior
from St. Charles.
She added, “I have laughed until I cried because
Kathy took Ann’s leopard print bra out for Ben to
wear as a bathing suit at pick up rehearsal. I’ve
kept up on drama and gossip throughout the entire
department whether I wanted to or not, and I have
made lifelong friends.”
During ‘The Immigrant,’ which Meyer called ‘a
food-props-heavy show,’ she said she “loved the
planning and stress of fnding all of the period
pieces and knowing where everything ft in
the end.”
Merlotti said, “I think my favorite memory
since I’ve been a part of this show is when
Michael and Rachel were practicing ‘Accident
Waiting to Happen.’ Rachel gave her cue,
‘Robert, look out!’ while he was roller-skating,
and he fell on his keister.”
Meyer has been at William Woods for four
years and has been part of every show since
“The Boyfriend” her freshman year. She has
worked box offce, stage crew, lighting tech,
properties mistress, actress, spotlight operator,
sound tech and lighting designer. For “The