What Does Theater Do After the Curtain Falls?

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The AAHS theater cast stands on set of their last production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The last showing of the fall production has just finished, the crowd, bubbling with excitement, jibber-jabber and applause. You stand in front of your seat clapping, and watch the cast bow and give jazz hands to the stage crew, the crowd and the director. The curtain falls as the cast backs up.

Just as always, the cast from behind the curtain begins the jumping, spinning, stomping, roar of the long-time tradition. The old “Mighty Kadets” chant (unified stomping creates an in-sync, powerful, pounding rhythm with the chant), “GO! GO KADETS! GO YOU MIGHTY KADETS! GO! GO-GO! GO YOU MIGHTY KADETS!”

By this time, people are leaving and the cast will be excitedly hurrying out to meet family and friends who came to watch.

Those of us who aren’t involved with the theater world may not know what happens after a theater production is over. Is it as simple as immediately moving on to the next play or musical? Does the class just twiddle their thumbs until next the next show is started?

Theater students most definitely stay busy in between productions, the train keeps on rolling. For Air Academy High School, the line up of shows goes as follows; Montage is early in the fall semester, the fall play runs in November, and in the spring a musical performs.

Montage is a fun and light compilation of skits, talents, performances, dance routines, and songs as well as comedy with a theme tying everything together. The fall play is always a very solid show to watch, this fall of 2019 was AAHS’s wonderful rendition of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The spring musical on March 12th 13th and 14th will be Mamma Mia.

“After Montage, we prepare immediately for the fall play. Between the fall play and spring musical, there are 2 months where we practice songs and get ready for auditions in January and one-act plays are organized for a competition in December. The musical is shown in March and from there, more one-act plays are practiced, montage directors are picked for the fall, thespian officers are elected, and the show line up for the next school year is decided,” said senior Audrey Miller.

A theater veteran, Miller said there is a multitude of classes that pertain to the thespian arts at AAHS. Of course, there are theater classes one through four. Theater four is a directing class, theater three is an advanced acting class, and theater one and two as well. In addition, there are musical theater classes and dance classes.

Being the beginning of December after Thanksgiving break, post-fall play, one might wonder: where does that leave students involved in theater?

“Theater four is looking for one-act plays that theater three students will perform for a one-act competition in February,” said senior Miller.

“We also do scene work with people in theater three and four. About 10 of us are going to Thescon (Thespian Convention) for three days in December to see shows, do theater workshops, etc with about 5000 other thespians in the area,” Miller added.

As for theater one and two, theater techniques and improvisational activities are assigned so that acting skills are improved upon. All in all, the activities that the different theater classes partake in after each production leave no room for simply sitting around; business as usual it seems.

In response to the ending of 2019’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, freshman Ellie Levy said, “All of us who were in the cast are primarily joyful, not to say we weren’t sad the show was over. It created new friendships and good memories for all of us; we’re more happy about the experience we had together than the sadness that it’s over.”

“Most thespians feel really sentimental after shows are over; seniors do speeches and then we clean up the dressing rooms and set which ends up being good closure for the show,” said Miller.

Different from theater, yet still important and relevant is stage crew or tech team. Stage tech builds the props and runs the lights for the show.

“Usually when we finish a show we take a week off and then get right into building the next set; next, for instance, will be the set of Mamma Mia,” said senior Marshall Hayes.

Altogether, the people that together compile what is the thespian society most definitely accomplish things after and in-between shows, more than just starting up the next production. There is an acting technique to be improved, dialogue to be beautifully recited, improvisation skills to be built, competitions to be won or attended and an art to be perfected.

With sweet goodbyes to the last show and hopeful, excited feelings towards the next, there are things to be done by the thespians.