I’ve been involved with the Marian Players for quite some time, but as my St. Paul’s career comes to a close, so does my Marian Player experience.
I’ve participated in three plays and two musicals, as well as taking Theatre I, II, and III — so being a Marian Player isn’t anything new to me. Being a Marian Player takes tons of dedication and time. It isn’t one of those things where one could “wing it,” and still be successful. It takes energy, work, drive and time, lots of time.
Time is a major component because two weeks before the play or musical opens, it’s practically do-or-die. Mandatory rehearsals set in, and stress begins to build. Despite the stress, however, it is one of the best times for the cast and crew.
One mandatory rehearsal day has become infamous for being known as “Super Saturday.” It is the Saturday prior to opening night, and is the day everything becomes apparent and complete. We run through the show twice. Rehearsal lasts from about noon til… whenever it takes to get it right. We could be at rehearsal from noon to 11 p.m at night, or possibly later.
This is the time where the cast and crew have the opportunity to grow closer to one another. It’s really easy to get close with these people because you’re with them every day for about two to three weeks. I’ve made friends with some incredible people from just going to theatre rehearsals.
The cast and crew are a family. A family of over 83 crazy, but loving people….
With keeping 83 people in mind, If someone were to ask me if I prefer musicals or plays, I would say musicals. More people are involved, energy is higher, and the more people, the more accidents — which means more laughs.
Many people remain unmindful of what goes on before the show and behind the scenes. If there was a word that combined both craziness with organization. that would be the word I’d use. You can easily assume that with a cast of 83 people, there are going to be many laughs, and many good times.
Some of the best times occur while everyone is getting ready for a rehearsal or a performance. The “Fiddler” cast consist of 83 people, so one can imagine the chaos and movement backstage. Everyone rushing to get ready, putting on make-up, putting on their costumes, and getting ready for prayer circle — a circle so large, I was unable to take an accurate photo. Before every show, all of the cast and crew “circle up” and line the walls of the green room (Mr. Logarbo’s classroom) and pray together, as well as do a quick warm-up to prepare our voices for their performance. This is one of the many things that makes being a Marian Player so special.
Personally, the theatre program has helped me succeed at socializing with others. If a shy eighth grader starts participating in the Marian Players, I can almost guarantee he or she will be someone different by senior year.
Now that I’ve reached the beginning of the end, all I can really do is take what I’ve been given — meaning the memories, good times, people and advice — and keep it with me as I move on.
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EDITOR’S NOTE: “Fiddler on the Roof” opens tonight (March 22) and runs through Sunday, April 2. Click here for more information on the show.
(All Photos by Ethan Hopel)