November 10, 2017
Jordan’s stomach twisted, Grace’s makeup appeared more white than blue, yams and corn fell off the table left and right, and microphone batteries started dying mid-show. All of this craziness occurred during the five dress rehearsals leading up to opening night of The Tempest on November 4.
“As a senior, I have been through so many dress rehearsals at this point. The chaos is the part that we like and that’s why we do theater. If we didn’t like the chaos, we wouldn’t be here,” said Thomas Finegar, who played Stephano in The Tempest and is the head of carpentry.
The Tempest has love, murder, humor, action, magic, dance, singing, and live music, something for everyone. The show is about the King of Naples and his entourage who crashed on an island after a storm at sea. Once being separated by the storm, various members of the voyage embark on different adventures, some comical and others heart-wrenching, before finally convening together in the end.
Dress rehearsals began with the entire cast heading to the costume closet, led by department head Aara Kuehl, to dress in their costumes and apply stage makeup. Most cast members were wearing typical 1600s sailor clothing. Lead characters, such as Caliban, Prospera, and Ariel, had costumes that were specialized for the character. For example, Prospera’s dress and cloak symbolized her high rank in the class system as duchess of Milan.
Next, the characters headed to the sound department, led by Josh and Brenna Lindberg, to put on and test microphones to ensure that the batteries were charged and that they did not give off feedback or loud ringing noises.
Lastly, props director Dan Leshchyshyn, who also plays Gonzalo in The Tempest, ensured that the props were in their correct location backstage. This allowed for smooth transitions when the cast and crew bring props on and off stage. Then, each of the cast members took their places backstage, ready for the curtain to open.
“They come to rehearsals or tech sessions and are excited to do what’s next and to do well. It’s such a joy seeing what a good time they have with their accomplishments—that’s the easiest part,” said Mr. Rosen, Atholton’s theater director. He guided the cast and crew but left much of the technical work to the heads of the departments since he trust his students’ work. Mr. Rosen’s students worked tirelessly in their Theater Tech class and during after school rehearsals. As the director, Mr. Rosen gave suggestions for his vision of the show and expected that his tech crew “gives us their best,” which they certainly seemed to be the case on Friday night.
In addition to the lightning techniques, the actors’ performance and accompaniment also seemed to be a hit the audience.
“Caleigh Goodwin-Schoen did an exquisite job memorizing the difficult Shakespearean scripture even with her multiple monologues,” said Olivia Magaletta, a sophomore from Maryvale Preparatory School. She also enjoyed the humor in The Tempest: “I found the portrayal of the drunk characters to be quite humorous, giving comic relief to the seriousness of the production,” she said.
Additionally, she enjoyed the accompaniment and felt that the “music flowed well with the mood of the scene.”
Junior Nicole Schmidt’s loved the opening scene of the storm because of its mayhem and Grace Tyson’s beautiful voice.
Even though much of the audience thoroughly enjoyed The Tempest, the show was not a breeze to put on. Cast members and crew alike agreed that even the easiest parts of the show were a struggle.
“There aren’t any easy parts. Everything, if done correctly, is difficult,” said Thomas Finegar. “It’s been wonderful having a lot of people who help. There’s been ten to fifteen different people who have come at different times and helped us out.”
The show was still a smash hit, with over 100 people in the audience opening night. The cast and crew were thrilled to share all of their hard work with the community and are looking forward to perform their final two shows on November 10 and 11 at 7pm.