Behind the Curtain of Horizon Honors’s “The Wizard of Oz”

The Horizon Honors Theater Arts Program has been working on The Wizard of Oz production, here’s what it’s like behind the curtain.

Take a look at the unseen side of Horizon Honorss The Wizard of Oz production.

Matlyn McShane

Take a look at the unseen side of Horizon Honors’s “The Wizard of Oz” production.

Matlyn McShane, Columnist

Theater is fascinating because the audience only sees what happens on stage, and they have little idea what could be happening backstage. Things can break, there could be technical difficulties, and lots of other mishaps. On April 22, the production had its opening night for their show “The Wizard of Oz.” This show is already hard enough to do with lots of costume changes, makeup, set changes, and music. Everyone on and off stage has to do the best they can to make sure that everything goes smoothly.

I’m on the makeup team, meaning I have to make sure I can do people’s makeup in a timely manner. When I’m not doing makeup, I’m usually sitting backstage or in the makeup room. Watching things happen backstage is really interesting, since there’s always a lot going on. Stage crew is working really fast to change the set during blackouts, the actors are running around between scenes where they don’t have to be onstage, and tech people are making sure everything works properly.

There have been instances during dress rehearsals where things have broken. One day, we had an hourglass fall and shatter, many mirrors broke, and dresses were ripped. Other problems such as losing shoes or hats had become an issue before, but usually there’s backup. There were many instances where actors forgot their lines, which isn’t a huge deal. Usually they just found some way to correct themselves in character. If an actor breaks character, it’s best for them to just find a way to cover it. There have been some occurrences where actors have broken character on stage by laughing, but it wasn’t noticed by the audience.

Time management and speed are highly important backstage. When actors have to change from one outfit to another in a short amount of time (we just call those quick changes), they usually need someone to help them since a lot of the costumes are big and hard to get off. I have to make sure that I’m ready to do makeup when my assigned actors get off stage. Although I just wait for them in our designated room, I still have to make sure all the appropriate materials are out and that I’m ready.

Going back to what was said about the audience not knowing what happens backstage, instances of this have happened a lot. One day I was having a really hard time doing the Scarecrow’s (Connor Johnson, freshman) eyebrows, and I had to let him go off with uneven eyebrows since he had to be onstage soon. Another time, Dorothy’s (Brailey McDaniel, junior) shoes were missing, so we just had to use some other shoes that looked similar. The audience had no idea, but we looked for the shoes for about 20 minutes.

Though it can be chaotic, theater made making new friends and memories fun and easy. It’s a really amazing experience to see what actually happens backstage. There have been lots of fun moments throughout this show, and I’m really looking forward to joining the program again next year. We have put a lot of effort into making this show enjoyable and would truly appreciate it if you came to watch “The Wizard of Oz.”