If you have ever had the opportunity to enjoy a live musical theatre production, you may have wondered what goes into getting it up and running. To tell the truth, it’s a lot of work that involves many people. Here are some things you should know about what makes a production like this a success.
- The Costumes
While there are a few shows that require modern-day costumes which are not hard to maintain, many shows are from a certain time period. This means that a costumer must research the era and either procure or produce costumes that fit that era. Not only that, the director over the production may have some very specific ideas as to color or style that need to be incorporated. Costumes can enhance or detract from what’s happening on stage and are a major component of a successful show.
- The Set
Some theatres are set up in a round style and have minimal set pieces. However, most theatres have a back wall and two side walls that must be turned into whatever location is needed for the show. Often, moving set pieces are brought in during different acts and need to be kept in place. Using swivel casters with lock make this a breeze, as the platform can be rolled into place and then the wheels locked so it stays in place.
Paint crews spend countless hours getting the set the way the director envisions it. Whether that means painting a column so that it looks like marble or painting a window on the side wall, it takes a lot of work. Furniture may be purchased, built or reupholstered, and secondhand stores are often scoured for just the right items to complete the effect.
- The Props
The small things around the set often make a big difference. Props or “properties” are items that are going to be brought onto the set, whether by an actor or by the large crew that usually backs up the actors. The prop master has a list and gathers the necessary items. He or she also makes sure that each item is assigned to be placed on the set at the appropriate time. The prop master is usually hovering behind stage and is ready to find a way to get a prop on that didn’t make it there when it was supposed to.
Knowing a bit about what goes on backstage can help you more fully enjoy your experience at the theatre.