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A Behind-the-Scenes Look at "Guys and Dolls"

Shay Kathuria
 
Ernest Hemingway coined the term “Iceberg Theory” for the minimalist writing technique that uses words sparingly and allows the reader to infer the greater structure and meaning of the story on their own. That is, one sees only the small top part of the iceberg; the greatest and strongest part of an iceberg lies underwater. The same could be said for Glenelg Country School’s recent production of "Guys and Dolls". There was a lot more behind the scenes that you may not have been aware of!

To the audience, "Guys and Dolls" portrayed two seemingly doomed relationships taking place in New York City. We saw beautiful acting, singing dancing, and costumes. What we did not see were the challenges, hard work, and the dedication that led up to the full production and created the lovely moments that we had the opportunity to appreciate.

Every detail of the show, from the cast, to the set design, the choreography, and the costumes had been thoughtfully planned out. Beginning last fall, Stephen Strosnider’s stagecraft and advanced stagecraft classes researched the show and pitched their ideas for building the set. Once they had received feedback on their ideas, the classes started the set-production process and worked tirelessly to create the perfect set for the show.

The cast members were selected in November. In December, they began learning the music and choreography with Cate Barry, director of Theatre Arts. Ms. Barry described the cast as being tight-knit and supporting each other through any challenge thrown at them.

Time proved to be one of the main challenges that the cast encountered. Scheduling rehearsals in between sports practices, homework, winter break and midterms for more than 70 cast members proved to be more difficult than it seemed. Since the Mulitz Theatre is used across all divisions for several different performances, the cast had a limited rehearsal window. The cast wasn’t able to begin rehearsing on the stage until February.

Midterms, playoffs, and winter break certainly did not help with the strict timing in perfecting the production. There was certainly stress amongst the cast at times; however, they were always able to pull together and celebrate the large and small moments, such as having an ice cream party after opening night and doing a family dinner between Saturday shows.

Ms. Barry said the most rewarding aspect was the dedication and support that students and teachers showed for this musical. She said with a talented staff and cast and crew, the production experience was overall extremely positive.

Click here to see all the photos from the show.
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An independent school serving students from age 2 through grade 12 in Howard County, Maryland.