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From Planning To Stage Of PV Theater

Anthony Vang

Murder, Revenge, Suspense, are a few words to describe the fall play that is: “The Count Of Monte Cristo.” When you see a production you normally just see what is on stage; the amazing costumes, lighting, sets, and props. What is not shown is the people who make all of this come to life known as Stagecraft. Stagecraft is an elective here at PV and seventy-plus people make up this elective and those people make up the eight crews that have to be there for the show. The eight crews come together and make the plays and musicals that you see at Pleasant Valley High School. There are some things that students may not be familiar with, like strike and projection design crews, stage ,tech, and prop crews. There are also some that are a big part that help the actors and characters come to life: costume, makeup, and hair. There are a lot of things that help these big productions come together but how exactly do they do it?

Alyssa Jenks has been working with props and is going to be in front of the house which are the people that sell concessions, give out programs, and welcome people to the performance. 

In Stagecraft groups of people (normally about two-four) are assigned jobs to do right up until the performance. These jobs could be: making props that go on stage, painting the big set pieces, designing and making costumes, designing the makeup, styling wigs, making decorations for the gallery so as soon as people walk in they are transported into the world of the play. Backstage of the production has a nervous but excited buzz about it. People are worrying, if it is going to go exactly how you practiced it or if something is going to break or fall? At the same time people are thinking about all of the good memories and people that they met that in the end makes all those worries go out the window and everyone focuses on one thing: just have fun. 

The “second half” to stagecraft is the actors themselves, who perform the play. In theater, there are two groups of actors: “Main cast” and “understudies”. The reason for this is so that in the case of one actor not being able to make it to the performance, there is always another actor who can play the same character. After having watched both the main cast and the understudies perform, both on their own and with each other. For example, every actor plays their character in their own way, so by having a performance done by the main cast, while also having a performance done by the understudies, the audience gets to see two

Anthony Vang

incredible performances. One of the biggest roles in “The Count of Monte Cristo” is, as the name suggests, the count of Monte Cristo himself, played by Colin Finney and Atticus Rider. Colin, a senior at PV and a second year in theater, originally “was … against it because I hated being on stage”, but was motivated by his grandmother, and not just the acting itself but the “sense of community.” Contrastingly, Atticus, a junior and also a second year in theater, “joined theater because it sounded fun”, and because he “enjoyed doing skit work in boy scouts.” To him, playing the Count is “incredibly fun”, because “portraying a man at his lowest and most basest is challenging, and rewarding.” Additionally, when asked about his favorite part of the play, rather than giving a specific moment as an example, he said that it would be “the people that band together to create [the] production.” Another important role is the co-director, River Wilkins, who “helps keep the show on track,” “block[s] scenes,” “step[s] in when needed,” and “knows the show as well as [they] can.” Together, with the help of everyone in theater and stagecraft, the audience gets to see it put on for 3 total days in November, with 2 days being dedicated to the main cast and 1 day being dedicated to the understudies. 

As for the play itself, “The Count of Monte Cristo” will be, as mentioned earlier, incredibly suspenseful. Many people agree that the play has many shocking twists and turns; when asked about the play, River said it was “a show that keeps you on your toes, makes you think, and is an amazing showcase of [the] class talents,” and according to Colin, it’s a “damn good show about murder and revenge,” and that “if you want to see a man absolutely fall down to his most basest and bare, horrid parts about humanity, this is the show for you!” 

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About the Contributors
MacKenzie Peterson, Staff Writer
MacKenzie Peterson is a student of the class of 2027. MacKenzie loves to: support her friends in sporting events, hang out with her pets, play games with her family, read books, babysit, write stories, and do stagecraft/theater. Her favorite place to visit is the coast where she hopes to live one day. She is so excited to join SAGA this year and hopes to continue for years forward!
Anthony Vang, Photographer
A freshman from Pleasant Valley High School. Anthony Vang is delighted to start his first year in the Saga Newspaper club! He is very bright and tolerant towards his peers and staff members. Anthony makes sure to do his work in a clear and self-sufficient manner, and tries to get his work finished before deadlines. But that doesn't mean he is not willing to help others who are in need of studying or a little tutoring work with their assignments. Anthony loves seeing the bright smiles and laughter of those he can call his friends. Moreover, Anthony wants to help those who aren't so fortunate enough to stand on their own and for the world to hear their voice. If you see Anthony in the hallways or the Quads don't be afraid to say "hello" to him.

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