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*Poof* There's a set!

Not much to report this week, really. Rehearsals have been few and far between this week. Between my schedule and the students’ schedules – there’s just been no time.

That isn’t to say students haven’t been funneling time into the production. Magically, a set has appeared where once there was merely timber and power tools and hope. A house was built and while it may not be able to withstand a stiff wind, it is certainly able to hold up the various students that have been weaving their way through the roofing beams during construction.
A windmill – that looks suspiciously like an oil derrick right now – graces the other side of the stage.

I tell you all this with a sort of carefree it-just-appeared sort of way. Certainly, nothing could be farther from the truth. While I am my desk or on assignment there are Shelby High drama students who are graded (at least in part) on what they build. There’s hauling material to and fro, painting (and perfecting the delicate art of moving large pieces of set while the paint is still tacky and wet), costuming…oh the costuming.

While the boys may be able borrow boots, dig out some old dungarees and tuck a mop of hair into a cowboy hat, the girls, I feel, have a harder time of it. The cache of dresses already made isn’t all that limiting but most must be altered in some shape or fashion in order to be “Oklahoma-esque” enough for the stage.

Some students are opting to make costumes. A small area, lovingly called the ‘sweatshop’, is home to piles of fabric, straight pins, ironing boards and sewing machines. The dresses to make, if you’ll recall my description from last week, require mounds of fabric and a lot of detailed sewing.

Yet, students who are in classes all day, rehearsals all afternoon and doing homework all night (and somehow managing a social life) have managed to pull together sets and costumes that would give professional theaters a run for their money.

Being part of this production has already given me an appreciation for the undertaking just being in the play can be…but lately, it’s also lead to a huge amount of respect for the people that make it happen.

Check out video of my costume (in all its glory) and rehearsal at shelbystar.com under the video section.

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