By Jessica Turgeon
“PLACES.” The actors get into place and wait for the show to begin. The curtain opens and the lights go up…
Just a week away from opening, everything is coming together for the cast and crew of Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’. For the first time ever, MCCTA (Marist College Council on Theatre Arts) and Marist Theatre are collaborating in the production of this show.
“I think it’s a healthy relationship because there are so many pressures, such as the space…joining forces produces a more legitimate presence,” said Jim Steinmeyer, director of ‘As You Like It’. Steinmeyer is a 1971 graduate of Marist College and has directed over 60 productions, this being his fifth at Marist.
Every other year, MCCTA puts on a Shakespeare production, and Steinmeyer was excited to be given the opportunity this year to direct. “You don’t get the chance very often,” Steinmeyer said. “It’s a challenge, but sometimes you need that.”
The cast has been in rehearsal since the beginning of the semester. Now entering into tech week, it is time to add the final elements of light and sound, costumes, and the set.
It was decided that the setting of the show should be modernized, so half of the show is set in a chic New York City style and the other half is Hampton’s beach style. The costumes
portray the contrast of those environments for the evil Duchess’ court in the first act and the laid back banished Duchess’ followers in the second.
The weeks of long rehearsals and tedious time spent memorizing lines has paid off. Steinmeyer said he could not have asked for the cast to have handled the material better. He said they have worked hard and have been serious about learning. Steinmeyer believes that the progress of the show is going according to plan as the show approaches.
According to the cast, tech week is off to a good start. “It is interesting to see the production coming together with lights, costume, and sound,” said Gail Goldsmith, a cast member. “It is constantly elevating to a new level.”
Goldsmith is a freshman at Marist and this is her first production with MCCTA. “I’ve really been enjoying it in a dimension I hadn’t expected,” said Goldsmith. She has not been in many productions before, so this has been an exciting new experience for her.
She has especially enjoyed working with a dedicated and enthusiastic cast whom she has found so inspiring.
Another cast member new to the Marist stage is CC Levesque, also a freshman. CC was pleasantly surprised to see how organized the production was compared to her experiences in high school. She believes that everything is coming together well, running smoothly, and finally feels like a production.
There would be no production, however, without the hours of hard work of the stage managers and producers. Tracy Vail has stepped into the role of stage manager for her first experience with MCCTA.
Her role as stage manager is to give blocking with the director, compile the props and music lists, and call lines when the cast is off book. Now that it is tech week, Vail’s job is to call the show, meaning she gives cues to the lights and sound workers and is in charge backstage.
Before this weekend, Vail wanted everything to be in place and ready, such as the music and the lighting cues, but some things fell through. She was also hoping that she had a good enough hold on the play to give the cues.
Vail joined the crew of this show only knowing one of the producers. She said the hardest part of working on ‘As You Like It’ was finding her place.
“It was nice to build relationships with the cast, the producers, Jim…at first I didn’t know if I could do it,” said Vail. She hopes to continue working with MCCTA in the behind-the-scenes field.
Put together an extensive set, detailed costumes, bright lights, a music playlist, a talented cast of actors and an important production crew, and you have MCCTA and Marist Theatre’s ‘As You Like It’. The show will run from Thursday, March 5 until Sunday, March 8.
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”