Behind the Web, by Carmel Cowart

Terrific! Radiant! Humble! Some Pig!

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     That’s right folks, Charlotte’s Web opens this Friday, October 18th! In honor of tech week (that’s what we call the last week before the show opens), I thought it’d be nice to give you a closer look at all of the preparation that goes into producing a show like this one. Step “behind the web” with me to see a few of the projects we’ve been working on after-hours!

     When most people think about musical theatre, rehearsals and opening nights are what come to mind. However, there is SO MUCH MORE that happens outside of rehearsal in order to get a show fully ready for an audience. Before that opening curtain, all the “t”s must be crossed and all the “i”s must be dotted; and in Wilbur & Charlotte’s story, there are a LOT of “t”s and “i”s! (Take the word “terrific”, for example!)

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___As the Production Assistant for Charlotte’s Web, my main focus for the last two weeks has been preparing the set by painting and decorating the world in which the Zuckermans and their famous animals will live. To give you an inside look at how many hands it takes to bring a wonderful show together, I’ll share with you the simple events of just one afternoon.

     Yesterday, as I painted the Zuckerman’s barn, our Technical Directors, Mike and April Prow, came in to create one of the two intricate (and very cool!) spider webs in the show. Once the barn was dry, Mike started hanging the rope web that he made himself, and I began crafting the web words…an interesting project, to say the least! I used garden wire to shape each letter, then spray painted them white to match the web. I’d like to tell you that I made the letters perfectly on my first try. In reality, I’ve had to recreate each word three times to get just the right look!

      After the letters were painted, the Director, Kelie Miley, asked me to glitter the web words so that they would “sparkle like morning dew.” On my way upstairs to obtain said glitter, I passed Bonnie Juengert, Board Member and Costume Volunteer Extraordinaire, as she was putting the final stitches on the Little Lamb’s costume. With glitter in hand, I made my way back downstairs through the workshop, and observed Eric Mitchell, our Carpenter, as he was building a ticket booth for the fair scene in Act Two. I then ran into our Stage Manager, Laura Keena, who was busy shaping the fabric used to make Charlotte’s egg sac.

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     Once the web words were glittered and finished, I returned to painting another set piece. While working, I couldn’t help but think to myself, what a talented team! It’s rather amazing to think about how much detail it takes to pull together a production like this one. Over the course of one afternoon, there were many theatre artists scattered throughout the building, each creating something specific for our show. On opening night, all of these beautiful creations will be woven together to help the cast and crew share an inspiring story with the audience.

     From the costumes to the scenery, the lighting to the sound, each element will help bring E.B. White’s treasured words to life before an audience of young theatre-goers. This may be the first play that some of these children will ever see! We want to make sure that all of the details, all those little “t”s and “i”s, are just right so they can have the most amazing experience possible. The volunteers and artists who make all of this possible are terrific, radiant, and humble, indeed!

     Be sure to come see all the web-spinning details this weekend and next at SCT!
Performances are October 18 & 25 at 7pm, and October 19, 20, 26 & 27 at 3pm.
Tickets are $12 for children (1-19), students, seniors, and military, or $15 for adults. 

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