What Goes into Making a Play?

Allie Poole

A question the Ashland High School student body has most likely repetitively pondered: how do the productions in the Mountain Avenue Theater take to the stage? One may wonder, how does a show-tune-chanting bunch goes through the two month process of cutting off most of their social lives to put on a show? The Rogue News offers the following insight into the process of putting a show at AHS on its feet. 

Step 1: Auditions and Callbacks

This week-long process is excruciating to the actors auditioning. The bare minimum is to memorize a one-minute monologue or sing a one-minute portion of any song, followed by the nerve wracking callbacks. At the end of the week, the cast list is finally posted. 


Step 2: Actors Memorize; Techies Learn the Ropes

The actors generally have a two to three week period of being able to read their lines from the script, but after that deadline, they must be off book. In addition, the technicians begin learning their duties. They must specialize in either lights, sound, props, or “run” (changing scenes). 


Step 3: Blocking

No, this step does not involve tackling or preventing your scene partner from doing something. It’s the process of stage direction. So not only do the actors need to memorize their lines, but they also must remember what they do and when they do it. 


Step 4: Costumes!

The AHS theater department is gifted with some of the phenomenal OSF costumes, due to the partnership with the professional theater, and the actors are always thrilled to see their new “fits,” plus learn how to apply their makeup. 


Step 5: Tech Week

A week long process, tech week is the sluggish final process in perfecting lighting, sound, props and anything tech related. It has been described as a grueling repetition game, where sometimes the cast and crew may continually practice one scene for hours at a time. 


Step 6: Opening:

Finally, the jitter-inducing night where all either falls to pieces or is perfect in every way. It’s a flurry of warm ups, setting the stage, and last minute checks for quite literally everything. Put it all together, and you now have a main stage production at the Mountain Avenue Theater. 


Photos by Allie Poole