Knight Theatre: Behind the Scenes

CAMILA DONOSO | FEATURES COLUMNIST 

The musical “Chicago” was performed a couple of weeks ago through the student organization Knight Theater. It was a huge production that took one long month of rehearsal and a lot of work from many different students. For those who had the privilege to watch it, and for the ones that missed it but are curious about what happens behind the scenes, here is a small glimpse behind the scenes.

Natalie Beck ’16 is an Instrumental Music Education major and Spanish minor who served as the pit orchestra director/instrumental director for “Chicago.” She is from Appleton, Wis., and this is her third year participating in Knight Theatre but her first time in this position. She has been involved with music since she was four years old when she started playing piano and comes from a very musical family.

How did you choose “Chicago”?

Knight Theater members interview candidates, choose the directors and then create the board of directors, and then together we spend a night or two trying to pick a musical. It’s quite a process because, you know, everybody has their opinions. We picked it at the end of last spring semester, and then we had to apply for the rights in order to do it. We didn’t find out until late July whether it could be “Chicago” or not.

For how long have you been practicing?

We started pit rehearsals the last week of classes last semester, one day just to go through Act One and the other day for Act Two. We went off for Winter break, and then we had five rehearsals just for the band. The week before the show premiered we started having rehearsals with everyone on the stage every day for eight hours with everyone, the band and the cast. Then, we stared adding inset props and the lighting all the way until dress rehearsals.

What was the most challenging situation that you overcame during the musical?

I guess the hardest part was the planning; that involved a lot of teamwork and communication. Sometimes that was hard during the semester as everyone gets super busy. Because after we gather our stuff and when the rehearsals came in Jan. we had looked ahead of everything, so we knew what to expect…for the most part.

What were the best things about being part of this production?

I am really going miss the cast and the pit members, just working and seeing these people every day. We had rehearsals every single day, so we spent a lot of time together, and now suddenly it is over. We create real friendships. And the music—I really like working with the music. It is amazing when you do all the planning and how it actually all comes together. Whatever you have in your mind and then hearing it for real is very rewarding. It was really nice when people I didn’t know would come up and compliment me on how the band sounded. I was proud of how we sounded, but it was nice to see other people appreciate it, too.

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