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Behind the Scenes of “Guys and Dolls” Musical

The musical requires an organized, timely backstage to ensure the musical follows script

  This year’s fall musical was “Guys and Dolls,” and while many came to see the show, not everyone was able to get an inside look at what happens behind the scenes. There are a large number of people who never set foot on stage, but are still working and contributing to the production.

  “One of the major components is the community that helps with [the] set, costumes [and] props. We have people who really do their research, [which is especially important,] when the musical is a period piece [like ‘Guys and Dolls’]. They’re really trying to make it as accurate as possible. We couldn’t do it without all that help, and it is volunteer help. They do it because they believe in the arts and education,” musical and theater director Minda Nyquist said.

  Backstage during the show, tech and crew members help by moving set pieces and positioning them out of the way. The stage manager Venti Ameel also does a considerable amount backstage. Between making sure that the curtains are where they need to be and managing the set pieces so they don’t get damaged or damage anything.

  “I do a lot of the stuff backstage so I will help with scene changes during shows, making sure that props are in place and then also I spike the set,” Ameel said.

  Spiking the set is when you put pieces of tape under the corners of set pieces so that they are always in place. Different colors of tape are then used for different scenes to tell them apart. The actors also have to do lots of work behind the scenes.

  “Since my first show I’ve started taking voice lessons and acting in theater class. I also got invited to the Sutton Foster Awards after my performance in ‘Kiss me, Kate!’ as Bill Calhoun. From there I learned a lot of stuff on the dancing side and developed my skills a lot more,” actor of Nicely Nicely Johnson, Zach Wheeler said.

  In order to make sure the show goes according to plan, everyone involved has to contribute. During shows people are managing lights, sound, the set and everything else to make sure nothing goes wrong.

   “All the kids who are working behind the scenes, it takes so much planning and choreography for all of those scenes to happen, so behind the scenes of a production you have so many moving parts and if one part isn’t moving at the right time it can be a mess,” Nyquist said.

  During rehearsals especially early on, the actors in the musical have to manage without lights, set, orchestra, microphones and more. Then as the rehearsals progress more pieces begin to fit in.

  “It’s really great once everything comes all together because a lot of people in the beginning work on things separately and then it’s really cool to see all of that come together and actually see the full show,” Ameel said.

   For all of the students involved, the musical is a great place for community building as well. For many it serves as a creative outlet but for others it could be a great chance to learn skills such as managing set or lights.

  “With this show I didn’t really care what role I got. I just wanted to have fun with everybody, the new incoming freshman class and the sophomores, just getting to know them better. I just walked into it with an open mind and have been having a lot of fun,” Wheeler said.

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About the Contributor
William Collins
William Collins, Section Editor, Social Media Specialist
William Collins is a sophomore in his second year of newspaper. He loves to read and write so he is trying to improve on those skills. Out of school Will loves to sing and involve himself in performing arts. 

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