The Cast and Crew Behind Leesville’s Play Dearly Departed

Katelyn Sherman, sophomore, pictured second to the far right, practices with the cast of Leesville’s Dearly Departed. The play will be take place on November 16 and 18, and tickets will be 10 dollars at the door. (Photo used by permission of Kelsey Holt)Katelyn Sherman, sophomore, pictured second to the far right, practices with the cast of Leesville’s Dearly Departed. The play will be take place on November 16 and 18, and tickets will be 10 dollars at the door. (Photo used by permission of Kelsey Holt)

This year, the Leesville Road High School theater will be putting on Dearly Departed. Behind the scenes, many different Leesville students have come together to fabricate the production. Cast and crew has come together and they each play a crucial role into this production.

“[Dearly Departed] is a super funny play about a family scrambling to get themselves together for their father’s funeral. Alongside that, they’re dealing with financial and relationship issues and eccentric friends that come along,” said Kate Sherman, an actor in Dearly Departed.

Currently, actors in the play rehearse two to three times a week. Sherman and her fellow actors run through every act at least once a week as well. “We will gradually add more and more props and stuff until we are doing full dress rehearsal,” said Sherman.

Plays allow for characters to come to life, and costumes make the play possible. Violet Thorton, a sophomore, is a member of the costume crew for the play Dearly Departed, and said that the play is pretty easy for the costume crew, as the costumes involved in the show are everyday items, like a button up shirt.

Performing in front of a large crowd can be, at times, nerve-wracking. “I’m most nervous about the performance, because I have never performed for Leesville before in front of that many people,” said Sherman.

For Thorton, there are many factors that can go wrong:  “I am afraid that we won’t be able quick change [the actors] fast enough, because when the actors come off stage, and they need to change their outfit really fast, things can get messed up, and sometimes there might be a malfunction on stage, which isn’t good for us.”

Landon Gaddy is someone you would never expect to be in theater because of his passion for construction. But Gaddy insists theater has something for everyone. “I’ve always liked to build things, and [set construction] seemed to be the most fun out of all the positions available,” said Gaddy.

The best part of being involved of the set construction crew for Gaddy is the people. “Honestly, being with the people who build the sets and make the whole play happen is the best thing,” said Gaddy.

For Smith, being in the spotlight wasn’t his idea of a great time. “I tried an acting class. I really didn’t like it so I tried lights and I really enjoyed it,” said Smith.

Controlling the many lights of the show can be overwhelming at times and there is easily room for a lot of mistakes. The best advice Smith was given: “Whatever happens, happens. You just have to make it work.”

For Thorton, theater is a place to not only pursue her passion, but meet new people as well. “It’s really social, and I really like that, because it allows me to be apart of a team and we all get to design everything together, have fun, and pin things up. It keeps you busy but it also keeps you happy and with your friends.”

For Gaddy, set construction isn’t always a walk in the park. “Even if you cut 1/18th of an inch too short, you have to start all over again,” said Gaddy.

That’s why for Gaddy, the best advice he received from his superiors was to “always get help when you need it and never screw around,” said Thorton.

The oversight of a good teacher to help the student crew along is a vital for the success of any school production. “[Mrs. Tarson] helps me by teaching me the structure of plays, and how they should go down, and act better as an actress,” said Thorton. Abby Johnson and Abby Thompson, who are the leaders of costume crew, both help Thorton out as well.

Thorton believes theater allows people to reach their full potential. “Theater allows you to be connected with each other, you help each other and always strive to be on top, it’s a lot of fun.”

Owen Smith, a sophomore, who is one of the light’s assistant crew heads, says that his favorite part of being in theater is the fact that everyone is so friendly. “It’s really like a family — we’ve all grown close and it’s a lot of fun,” said Smith.

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