Putting on a live performance can be quite an endeavor, as the Opera Cru knows well. When the venue changed last minute and the microphones kept acting up, the group’s performance of The Three Little Pigs brought plenty of challenges.
Junior vocal performance major Josiah Davis said that preparations for the children’s show began last spring.
“We had gotten the music back at the end of last semester, and learned it throughout the summer,” he said. “As soon as we came back at the beginning of the semester, we started rehearsing it.”
Davis plays the role of Wolfgang Bigbad in the show, a character similar to the ones he’s played before.
The Three Little Pigs
was scheduled to open the morning of Oct 12. Despite careful preparations, the cast and crew had to work hard to be ready for their first audience. Due to construction gone wrong in Hughes Hall, the debut risked delay. Opera Cru founder and director George Hogan explained the ensuing challenges.
he said, “We missed two days —Tuesday and Wednesday — so we weren’t able to rehearse at all.”
Thanks to a colleague, Hogan and the Opera Cru were able to move the performance to Shelton Theater at the last minute.
“I’m really appreciative to Dr. Humphrey for spearheading us getting into here, or I don’t know that we would have been able to put it up. It would have caused a real back log,” he said. “I think also nurse Debbie (Rosenberger) and Dr. Bill Carrell were a part of moving stuff. I think nurse Debbie had an event in here this morning that she moved for us.”
With the new location at hand, the cast members were able to focus on changing their blocking as well as moving set pieces.
“Because we had to tackle the problem of the wolf blowing the houses down, we did PVC pipe frames for the houses and then curtain drapes with different colors,” Davis said. “When the wolf blows, (the actors) yank back the curtain… It’s a simple way of accomplishing what we want, and it will allow us to travel.”
The preparation and efforts of the Opera Cru paid off. The opening performance had a full house, and, despite a few technological glitches, the first show was a success. Now that the cast and crew are equipped to face any future changes, they can focus on the audience, local school children.
Sophomore vocal performance major Katrina Bernhard is on the stage crew. She helps with the set and has a cameo in the show. She enjoys seeing the children’s reactions and the genuine enjoyment they have for the live performances. They had no idea that just moments before, the cast was rushing to be ready.
“Sometimes, that’s the fun thing in theater. It’s always organic,” Hogan said. “And really, truthfully, it’s a great lesson in life. You have to learn to, you know, all the cliche things: adapt, roll with the punches, all that kind of stuff.”