• Cara Coombs

How to Make a Musical

Updated: Dec 16, 2019

Article by Cara Coombs

Video by Joh Ziegler

Not many people know what it takes to create the production of a play, but there are many things involved in making a production great such as acting, props, actors, costumes, makeup, sound, and lighting. The Minarets Drama program put on the Little Mermaid this year so Minarets Press went behind the scenes to get an inside scoop on what occurs during a drama production and how much works goes into a play.

Senior Emma Lynch discussed why props and costumes are important to the production of a show. She said, “Props and costumes are important to the show because the actors can be fantastic and they can do their own thing but what really brings the audience into the story and helps them connect to what is going on in the story.” With costumes comes shopping for them and also making alterations to fit the person wearing the costume. Emma continued, "We took a lot of simple dresses and added to them to make them look more like sea creatures”.

Along with costumes, there are the actors. Senior Maddie Wristen explained how it was to play the lead, Ariel, and what she did to prepare for the role. She said, “ I usually either watch the movie, reads the play or the book. In this case, I watched the movie a million times pretty much.” Along with portraying Ariel, Maddie also had to do multiple quick changes throughout the production. She explained that these changes can be very stressful because you don’t want to be late for your queue. With the actors, there is also the ensemble. Junior and ensemble member Hana Unruh explained how "an ensemble member you are kind of a background character but background characters have that aesthetic to like be anything you want to be”. With ensemble comes the ability to be different roles for example you could a seahorse for a scene and in the next scene you change to a sailor.

Acting is a big portion of the show but there are also the sound and lighting technicians that help give the production the sound and lighting it needs. Even though you don't see the sound and lighting crew, they play important parts. Sophomore and lighting director Mia Hipwood explained, "The lighting is important because the lights light up the stage and without them, you wouldn’t be able to see what was happening in the production." Along with lighting being important, sophomore sound manager Bella Velazquez discussed how sound and lighting are what make all the magic go on in the show like with under the sea there are colorful lights and fun music.

Finally, there is the entire backstage, place the audience never gets the opportunity to see. Senior Emma Lynch described how back stage "there can be an actor or actress that is on stage singing this beautiful song that’s really meaningful but I can guarantee that there are at least five people right off stage that are exaggerating the song and it’s great”. Senior Maddie Wristen added that “there’s like a serious scene or any scene going on on stage and people are like how is this so perfect and then backstage everyone is running around trying to prepare for their next scene." Finall sophomore Mia Hipwood said that “there is also a lot of silent yelling at each. An example of the silent yelling could be when a prop is lost people silently yell at each other asking about where the prop went."

In the end, it takes countless hours of effort to create a musical and the hard work of our Minarets Drama program paid off.


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