Break a Leg!

Spring play rehearsals have kicked off and the cast is collecting props

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By: Kayla Granat and Cameron White

Stomachs rumble. Butterflies.

The stage is dim. Chatter from spectators is heard backstage.

Props are stacked. Light conversation turns to silence.

Stage lights brighten. Repetition of lines, over and over, in your head.

You step on stage and transform.

This is what Theater 100 looks forward to as they begin to rehearse and prepare for this year’s spring production, Loving Lives, set to premiere in the Ayres-Conway Theater in late March.

“The title of the spring play this year is Loving Lives by Alan Haehnel. It is set in 1949, and it’s the last day of a radio soap opera. The main character is Mac, who runs the theatre. The stars of the show are characters called Blanche, Rosie, and Walter. You have Jack, who’s the sound effects guy who is in a relationship with Rosie,” Theatre 100 director Samuel Fitzgerald said. “There is Abigail, who is the producer’s niece, and it’s her first day on the job there. Then you have John, who is the announcer for the show.”

About 20 to 25 people auditioned for the play. The cast currently consists of 12 people with a crew of about five to ten people.  “We actually had a lot of freshman talent this year, which was a wonderful surprise, so I decided to pick something a little bit funnier and a little bit bigger than I was originally going to pick this year,” Fitzgerald said.

For Fitzgerald, the props are also part of what he has to think about as he chooses his plays. “For any given play, we do have a small amount of props that we have in the theatre that we’ve been accumulating over the years. If a play ever calls for something that I don’t have, I’ll see if I can make it or if one of the students can make it,” Fitzgerald said. “If not, we’ll see if we can rent it or find it. Second-end stores are usually really good. Places like Unique or Salvation Army are good places to find stuff,” Fitzgerald said.

The theatre also uses props from a warehouse called Zack’s Props located in Bridgeport. Television shows like Empire, Chicago Fire, and Chicago Med tend to use props from the play store as well.

“If [the prop] is something fairly common that I️ don’t have room to keep, I’ll donate it somewhere or give it to a cast member,” Fitzgerald said. “Say they use that prop specifically, and I have no more use for it, I️ would totally give it to an actor,” Fitzgerald said.

Most funding for the props come from previous box offices. Almost all funds from the fall play are used to help put on the spring play. The profit made from the plays determines future play productions.