I went to East Carolina University to study Theatre Education. While I did not manage to land a teaching job, I did receive invaluable experience and a great appreciation for the art of theatre.
While my other theatre school friends have gone on to live fabulous lives following their teaching and acting careers, I am following my own dream of writing. Today, I will focus on the wonderful, frustrating world of theatre.
Do you know how many people work together just to get the lights working on the stage? Did you know there are such things like light design concept and unifying design in costumes?
Did you know that working in the set design crew as a freshman is guaranteed way to scare you into following all the safety rules? Try having your professor list every possible way you could die from every single tool that you will be expected to use in the near future. First lecture was the scariest. And the most informative. Safety goggles on, and never look at the light created while welding without wearing a mask. Be careful using a router. And an electric stapler. Pretty much everything, be careful.
While I managed to keep my life during the first semester at ECU, I did gain a new appreciation for the people whose lives were interwoven into creating the sets for each play. I managed not to break anything while creating a crucial piece of the scenery, the tear.
A long, asymmetrical piece of wood was lowered in throughout the play, ‘tearing’ the document in the background. Very cool effect.
Since my time at ECU, I have gained a new respect for everyone who is dedicated to the theatre. Their lives are spent telling the story for the audience. Each piece is different, but crucial for the production of the play. As my lighting professor pointed out, there can be a great play going on, but no one will see it without the lights.
My experience in the theatre has helped me greatly in working in church dramas. Though the knowledge is helpful, it is horribly distracting if I am not the director. Fortunately, none of my directors have killed me yet and have welcomed my input.
As we approach the season of church and school plays, give a little extra love to the people running the show. Trust me, they need it!