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  • Writer's pictureKevin Shinnick


Due to the effect of COVID , people have become more aware of the importance of the Understudy.

The understudy usually has a role in the show , but then they also have to memorize the dialogue and blocking of other characters . Some understudies have to memorize the information for several roles, and are usually not rehearsed in those other parts more than a few times.

They have gotten praise for allowing shows to go on, and often people will pick out the understudy for amazing performances. Rightly so.

That said, there are many many others not getting the limelight who also ensure that the show can go on.

Stage managers are given the task of making sure that happens. When people are out, the stage managers are tasked with dealing with the issue. They let the rest of the crew know of any changes and then costumers have to pull back up wardrobe out to dress the performer in the proper gear.

When several people are out, other changes may be needed. Scenes and choreography may be drastically altered , and bits reworked. Sound crews , lighting crews , set & prop crews , and for musicals, choreographers & musicians may also have to roll with these changes ,and be aware of what is different , keeping the show flowing seemlessly , and audiences mostly being unaware of any differences.

Audience members should concentrate on enjoying the shows , and not noticing any problems is the best compliment to the efficiency of the stage crew .

Kudos too to the front of house teams ,who deal with the guests, trying to get them their tickets, comfortable as possible seating, and also ensure that one member of the viewers does not distract from the enjoyment of others.

The performers are the storytellers whom people applaud , but they cannot succeed without a group of people dedicated to producing the best product that they can.

-Kevin G Shinnick

(May 22,2022)

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