This year for the fall play, I directed and helped write the underclassman show, a 5 minute show performed at the innermission of the main show. It was such a joy working with these underclassmen and being in a leadership position.
The past couple months, I have been assistant directing for the Leesville Theater Department’s production of “And then there were None”. This involved helping Mr. Hurley, the theatre director, direct, cast and keep things organized for the upcoming show. I was not alone in the proces. However, helping me was Victoria Hall, a junior who was also an assistant director (AD) as well as an incredible group of stage managers.
The process started with casting the show.
The audition process took two days and lots of talented people tried out, but it was Mr. Hurley, Ms. Wrayno, and my job to help cut down the process. Since this show only had a cast of 11 and over 50 people auditioned we decided to make two separate casts to perform on different nights.
After we cast the show, Mr. Hurley told Victoria and I that we would be writing and directing the underclassmen show. The underclassman show is a tradition in the department where at Intermission, the curtain closes and some underclassmen get on stage and perform a 5 minute sketch written and directed by the ADs.
After we met the whole cast and did a read through of the script, the process began. We had rehearsals with the different casts about 4 days a week. Our job as AD’s was to help manage rehearsals and keep the cast on task. We were each able to direct one part of one scene in the show which was a lot of fun.
The underclassman had rehearsals once a week where they got to know each other a little better. They began practicing pantomime since we did not have enough mics for the underclassman. However, Victoria and I were prepared. We recorded a narration with music and sound effects that helped the actors and audience keep track of the show.
It was hard to find a topic for the underclassman show due to the main show being a serious murder mystery, which made it hard since the underclassman showis supposed to be light and funny while still relating to the main show.
Since the main show took place in 1939, I started doing research on what happened that year and found some interesting information: Amelia Earheart going missing, Lou Gerhig retiring and the movie The Wizard of Oz getting released.
We decided to combine all of these things plus more into a sketch about Amelia crashing and getting lost in Oz due to Lou knocking her out of the sky with a baseball because he was jealous that she was more famous than him. FDR then sends Superman out to go find Amelia in Oz. The underclassman liked the idea, so we worked out a script.
Later in October, the rehearsal process went up to 5 days a week and the cast began to feel the pressure of all of the lines they had to learn. As a production team, we were a little worried about the show, but I had faith that the cast would learn their lines and of course, they did. The major factor that contributed to the success was the line throughs we held on Zoom over the weekend.
The underclassmen were doing great as well learning all of the blocking we gave them.
The week before the show we began what the department calls “hell week”. It goes by that name since we are there every day including Saturday and Sunday from 2:30 til 9 practicing the show and running it with all of the props, set and lighting. Even though this does not sound fun, we got more time to know the cast and crew better and wound up making some memories I will not forget.
Then finally was show week where all of our hard work paid off in making a great show.
Overall, I would definitely consider joining the Leesville theatre department. We need everyone we can get from actors to tech people to house crew. Theater has always been here for me throughout all four years of high school and I could not be any more proud to be a part of it.
Hi! My name is Grant Silver and I’m a staff writer for The Mycenaean. I am a twin brother and I really enjoy and know about lots of music especially hard rock/metal.