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Page 28 text:
by Debra A. Peterson.
Senior Theater English Major
It’s finally happened to me. the same way It's happened to people through the ages: I have fallen In love with theater.
I didn't plan to dedicate my life to theater. I don't think anyone could rationally run his finger down a list of career choices and say. "Hmmm. Theater sounds good. I’ll do that" The odds against Finding work are too great, the personal risks tremendous.
So why do it? What makes technicians work 56 hours straight so that everything is ready for opening night? Why do actors spend hours alone studying lines while their friends are out enjoying themselves?
There’s no easy answer. Everyone has his own reason for going into theater. But as for me, well: If somebody asks Joe Schmoe why he breathes. Joe answers. "Because it keeps me alive!" And if somebody asked my why I chose theater I guess I'd answer the same way.
Theater is not a job. it's a way of life. Konstantin Stanislavsky, co-founder of the Moscow Art Theater and developer of the "Method” school of acting, said. "The theater begins not from the mo ment you make-up or from the moment of your entrance on stage. The theater begins from the minute you awaken in the morning. You are in the theater when you talk about It to your acquaintances. to the clerk In a bookshop, to a friend, to another actor or to the barber who cuts your hair. The theater is your life, totally dedicated to one goal: The creation of great works of art which ennoble and elevate the souls of human beings."
You are in the theater while waiting for a bus In Eau Claire, Wis. Actors observe the people at the bus stop and try to remember the way they walk and talk to draw on their mannerisms for a future role. A lighting designer notices the quality of light that falls on the people waiting. A playwright notes the interchanges between strangers.
Everything in life fuels the theatrical art because theater represents life. Theater expresses the hopes, fears, failures, triumphs of all of us. It lets us see ourselves. or people we might have been, or people we could become.
David Morgan, friend, adviser, teacher and director of (JW-Eau Claire students for 10 years says. "In our heart of hearts we may harbor certain hang-ups and quirks of character. It is Illuminating to discover through studying the human condition depicted in plays that we are not alone; that there are others who
have similar feelings, quirks and behav ioral patterns. What is more, people have been behaving this way from the beginning. It is a singular joy to observe a character in a play behave or react to a situation and be able to say, "That's exactly what I would do or say In that situation!' So we discover much about self."
Actress Merlairte Angwall. (JW-Eau Claire senior, says. "Theater is opening up people's eyes to something they didn't see before. It helps people under stand why other people behave as they do."
The need to understand people requires actors to be aware of the people around them. Technical theater artists, too. arc aware of elements in everyday life that can be used In the theater.
"I think of my life In terms of the-
ater." senior (JW-Eau Claire stage manager Joline Obertin says, "I’m constantly thinking of how objects In everyday life would work in a certain kind of show."
Obertin has been (JWEau Claire’s stage manager for two years. Her posi tkxi requires her to know a show as well as its director does. She must call all lighting and sound cues and deal with emergencies: adjusting cues If actors skip ahead in the dialogue, or improvising when props or set pieces break or disappear,
"It's a big headache sometimes." Obertin says, "but you get to the point where theater is so important that It comes before everything else. I have such a love for it that I don't know what else I could do."
Junior Michael LaLeike. student light-
Carol ZJppei mgr by makeup for her roW In 'To Pat by lhe Dragon
Page 29 text:
ing designer, ogrees. "Theater is a feeling." he says. "You either have it and can't describe it. or you don't."
Actors need technicians. Playwrights need directors. We all need each other because creation in the theater depends
on many artists working together and giving the best of their efforts so that the play — the creation — is the best, most beautiful, most representative of human life that it can be.
Left — Carol Zipprl await her entrance.
Below — Member of the cait of "To Pa by the Dragon" gel ready for the how
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