The next time you go to a theater to watch a play, give the actors and the
people involved in putting up the entire play he applause they truly deserve. he
performance you get to see is the end product of a few months of hard work.
The birth of a play lies in the mind of the playwright. He may have an
interesting story to tell. He may also feel strongly about a recent debate on a
topic like inter-racial marriages and consequently, write a play about this.
Another crucial person involved is the director. he is the person who decides
how the play should be acted out. Directors have different styles of presenting
plays, even identical plays. hat is why you sometimes get to see plays of the
same title being staged by different theater groups at different points in time.
The second stage of 'assembling' a play involves mainly the production team and
the designers. The production team consists of the production manager, stage
managers and the designers. Sometimes, the production manager and the stage
manager may be the same person. This depends on the size of the theater company
and the budget for the entire production. The bigger the company, the more funds
it will probably have and hence, the budget will allow for more people to be
The production manager ensures that the plans drawn up by the
costume, sound and light designers are carried out. Stage managers sit in during
rehearsals and take note of the director's wants. The light designers design the
lighting to give the play its various moods and help convey the story behind it.
They decide what color and type of lights to use. Sound designers try to create
the sound effects the director wants, adding on others they think is necessary
for the play to achieve its intended effect. For example, a comedy would have
contrasting lights and sound effects from a tragedy. It is also at this stage
that the actors are selected. If the company ha its own company of actors and
actresses, then time need not be wasted on auditions. If this is not the case.
then audition advertisements will be placed in the newspapers.
Once the 'cast'
(which is made up of the actors and actresses) is formed, rehearsals will
commence. The cast usually continue with their rehearsals till the day before
their actual performance. The day of performance is the busiest day for a
particular group of people we call the 'crew'. They help the stage managers
ensure the costumes and props are put in place help clean up the theater before
the performance and also help the lighting designers to fix the lights at the
Ina theater, you watch the play without knowing the
process of putting it up. the next time, do remember to applaud not just for the
actors and actresses, but also for the 'unseen' people involved as well.