Arundel theater company enters thick of musical season stress

(Photo courtesy of Cezary Gurbada)

By Laura Bonnington

As musical season gets ready to start up again, the stress of all the perils that go along with 4-day-a-week rehearsals and what it takes to put on a full-scale musical, begins. Members of the Arundel Theater Company shared what stresses them out the most about theater season in preparation for the coming months.

Theater is often stressful before rehearsals even begin. Senior Katelyn Shibilski said the most stressful part of theater season for her is “waiting for the cast list to come out.” The process of auditioning and waiting for the cast list can be ruthless.  You are given a number and have to wait for your number to be called before going into the choir room, where you sing 16 bars of your audition piece before being able to go home and relax. However, audition season isn’t just stressful for the students. Mrs. Minor, Arundel’s theater teacher, and producer of Arundel’s past three musicals, said,  “I would think the audition stress [is the most stressful part of the season] because there’s such a large talent pool and you want everyone to be happy, but it’s all about what the production team wants and who they’re looking for in a character.”

When the cast list comes out, no matter what happens, it is an instant relief. There’s finally a weight off of your shoulders because the cast list being posted means that it’s time to begin rehearsals, and rehearsals are where all the magic happens. Scripts and dances are learned, and on the weekends, sets are constructed and painted while costumes are sewed and fitted. There’s a certain bond that forms between the cast through rehearsal. It allows the audience to see the natural chemistry between everyone’s interactions and create the best show possible. Everyone’s hard work comes together to create a 2 1/2 hour show in 2 1/2 months.

Any student involved in sports or other after school activities knows the struggle of balancing the activity with enough time for school work and friends and family. According to Senior Kendra Dolinka, balancing theater with other responsibilities stresses her out because, “Theater is an activity that you must be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time for. It’s difficult to balance rehearsal with school but it’s always worth it.” Mrs. Minor has been known to say that rehearsals become your social time during show season. If you are rehearsing until 9 pm and still have to do homework, there’s not going to be time to catch a movie or go to a friend’s house. Ideally, the time you spend at rehearsal becomes your time to be social and be with friends.

No matter how stressful theater season can get, any theater student knows that the reward for all of that stress is an incredible show that absolutely wows audiences. Nothing can replace that feeling of being alive when performing their show for the very first time. What people see on stage is the end product of months of rehearsal and dedication coming together to entertain audiences for 6 performances.