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Stagecraft students are stars behind-the-scenes

MMCC Stagecraft student Haleigh Rogers of McBain mixes the perfectpaint color for a flat for "Leaving Iowa." Photo by JANET SOWLE

MMCC Stagecraft student Haleigh Rogers of McBain mixes the perfectpaint color for a flat for “Leaving Iowa.” Photo by JANET SOWLE

By JANET SOWLE, Editor

Everyone claps at the end of a play for the performances of the actors and actresses. Sometimes they even get a standing ovation.

But if they were in the dark, wearing their street clothes or didn’t have props to carry, would you still think the play was as good? There is more to go into a theatre production than people walking around a stage and saying some lines.

Mackenzie Bacon works on a set piece for "Leaving Iowa." Photo by JANET SOWLE

Mackenzie Bacon works on a set piece for “Leaving Iowa.” Photo by JANET SOWLE

At MMCC the Stagecraft class provides the set, assists with costuming, gathers or makes props, runs lights and works as the stage crew. Sometimes they’re even the actors and/or actresses.

“The paint, build, and create set pieces that are component of the stage set,” Yvette Keast, MMCC Theatre Director said. “Students gather props that are needed by the actors in the show, and assist in finding the costumes that actors wear on the stage.”

Stagecraft students Amanda Brandenburg and Danielle Keysor paint a flat for "Leaving Iowa." Photo by JANET SOWLE

Stagecraft students Amanda Brandenburg and Danielle Keysor paint a flat for “Leaving Iowa.” Photo by JANET SOWLE

Harrison residents Danielle Keysor and Amanda Brandenburg took the class in the Fall 2012 semester for the experience and enjoyment of trying something new. Other students like Mackenzie Bacon of Mt. Pleasant took the class because it is part of his Theatre degree. Bacon, who already had extensive theatre experience both behind-the-scenes and on stage, was also a lead actor in the fall production of “Leaving Iowa.”

The week of the show their attention shifts to lighting and sound design and backstage.

“This is a great class to learn hands on the basic fundamentals of stage construction and lighting in a theatre atmosphere,” Keast said.

Once the play is over, their work isn’t done.

“After the run of the play, students from both the Production and Stagecraft classes ‘strike’ the set,” Keast said. “They work together to take down all of what took the entire semester to construct and put it away in the Ken Kerswill Theatre Lab including the props, costumes and clean everything for the next production.

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