Peddie theater enthusiast Chris Liang ’20 shares everything you need to know and warns, “Never say ‘Macbeth’ in the theater, or you’ll curse us all.”
- Know your lines (and lyrics if it’s a musical). This is absolutely crucial. If you ever forget your lines … well, don’t. Stick to the script. It’s also your job to bring life to your character.
- MEMORIZE YOUR CUES! NEED I SAY MORE?
- Don’t forget your costumes! Know where your pieces are, remember your quick changes if you have any, know who’s helping you with changes, etc. You seriously don’t want to show up with half of your costume and sweatpants.
- Remember your props! Otherwise, it’s like showing up to a marathon without sneakers. It’s simply not right.
- Know your place on stage and be aware of your surroundings. Nothing hurts more than accidentally walking into a hidden wall.
- Assistant director: take rehearsal notes often and remember anything the director points out. Help out the actors when needed. Be able to fill in for absent cast members. Feed lines during rehearsal. Peddie’s theater director, Ms. Sherman, is the greatest, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
- Assistant stage manager: keep track of the actors, their props, and their costumes. During the show, you’ll be backstage helping with transitions, props, costumes and last minute lines if anyone panics. Keep calm and wear all black during the show.
- Stage manager: during rehearsals, you can organize schedules, write a bunch of emails, etc. Tech week will be your worst enemy. Write down all the sound and light cues into a clean copy of the script and label each one with either a number or letter. During the show, you’ll be calling all the technical cues, so stay focused.
- For all: wear your intercom headsets (we just call them “coms”)! This is your communication device during tech week and the show. Just … please don’t breathe heavily into the mic.
Set crew (including run and tech crew)
- Building the set is harder than you think. Get ready to lift heavy pieces of wood, get sawdust and paint everywhere, move heavy objects around, and drill a bunch of nails.
- Wear clothes you won’t mind getting ruined. A camp shirt from middle school, an old pair of black sweatpants and a pair of tattered Converse make a great set crew outfit.
- If you’re also in run crew, meaning you transition pieces in and out of scenes, wear black during the show. You will need to enter ninja mode. Be stealthy and quick, so that every transition is super quick. DON’T TRIP!
- If you’re also in tech crew, you will be doing sound or light. Adjust settings on the light/sound board to input cues. It’s really confusing, and you won’t know how to operate all the thingamajigs. Have random conversations on the coms if you want.
Stage makeup is really different than your day-to-day looks. Those eyebrows need to be bolder, and that skin better be flawless. Both guys and girls wear makeup, no exceptions. Why hire Pat McGrath when you have resident amateur makeup artists?
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! This should be a no-brainer. You’re an instrumentalist in this musical for a reason.
- One of the rather difficult aspects of being an instrumentalist: you need to mesh well with the actors. Timing is the key to making these songs sound Broadway-level. Of course the conductor is there, so you won’t have to worry too much. You’re likely very sick of some songs by now, and to make matters worse, you’ll be humming them for the rest of the school year.
- Once it’s tech week and you’re actually in the pit, wear relatively breathable clothing. Peddie musicals take place in winter, but it is so hot down in the pit that walking to the theater in a t-shirt is worth it.
In Peddie theater, it’s all about trust. If your mic falls off, or if you need makeup touch-ups, everyone has your back. Now that you have some insider tips you’re ready to learn more about Peddie theater.