By Diana Kuznetsova ’18
As the curtains closed, the whole crew embraced and the fall play ended. I never thought I would feel like a big part of me was taken away.
Let me go back to the beginning. This year I set a goal for myself to be fully committed to something important, and I wanted to be a part of something meaningful for TASIS. But I never thought I would become very attached it. My journey of being a stage manager for our fall play, The Servant of Two Masters, started two months ago, in September.
|It was hard to pull everything together, but Ms. Carlson made it possible.|
When I came to our first meeting, I did not know what to expect from my job and the play itself. I was confused and scared when I saw how long the play was and how much work it would take. The job included taking notes and doing blocking during every rehearsal. At first I was overwhelmed with the blocking because I had to be very fast at writing down where every actor is standing and tracking their every move. The blocking is very important for the actual show, as we had to tell the actors when they had to enter the stage and where they had to stand. The notes that Ms. Carlson, our director and production manager, told us during the rehearsals had to be shared with the rest of the crew to help us all improve.
As some time passed, I became more keen with the job and the blocking. I started to enjoy rehearsals because I got to know the play and the actors better. When it was time for Academic Travel, we all could not wait for it. The Theater Academic Travel trip to Veneto was a very big gift for the whole crew, as we had the opportunity to get to know each other better, the actors were able to practice their lines, and the make-up crew had the opportunity to practice on the actors for the first time.
The stage managers had to choose one aspect of the show to look after, and I chose to help with costume changes during the show. On the Academic Travel I was able to talk to Begüm from our costume design and wardrobe crew, who explained the importance of the costumes in the show and how they help the audience understand the play better. I began to understand the importance of every role in the play.
I could have never imagined just how important small things are to the show—that without elements like make-up and costumes the play would not work. They help create a better understanding of the time period of the play, and in our case also help the audience understand the plot, as one actor, Beatrice, had to pretend to be her brother and then change back to herself. The atmosphere of the play would also be completely different without lighting and props, both of which help build a more complete image of the scene. And before the show I didn’t hear the music, but when I did, I couldn’t have imagined our play without it. It added a sense of delight and joy to the performance, and it helped the actors accomplish their goal of making people laugh and cheering them up.
Like everything else this play did not come out perfect at first, so it took a tremendous effort from all of the actors and the crew to achieve the result we wanted. It was hard to pull everything together, but Ms. Carlson made it possible. The last week before the show we had long rehearsals that enabled us to work together and prepare for Opening Night.
Everyone worked very hard during the rehearsals, and we finally began to see it all come together. The actors wore their costumes and the makeup for the first time on stage, and the props crew changed the props on stage during the show. Stage managers for the first time tried on the headphones that enabled them to communicate with each other. The lighting crew also had the opportunity to work on the lighting with the actors playing on stage.
|We could not believe the journey was over.|
By the time we performed our third and final show on Saturday night, I was amazed at how smoothly it went. The actors worked to their fullest, and the dynamic mood did not leave the stage until the end. We could not believe the journey was over.
I am very grateful to Ms. Carlson, who gave me this opportunity to be a stage manager for such a great director and crew. Words cannot describe how indebted I am to every actor and crew member who made this experience unforgettable for me, and I also want to thank everyone who went to see the show and share the experience with us.