JHS’s Peter Pan through the Stage Manager’s eyes

Bre Scott, Staff Writer

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People typically see a performance to be wowed by the nerve-wracking spectacle put on by the actors and actresses; in doing this, the stressful work backstage is often unnoticed. In all honesty, a play or musical simply would not happen without someone navigating backstage.

For the 2019 Fall Play, Jacksonville High School’s theater program put on a production of Peter Pan with Kyla Pattie starring as Peter Pan. During the three performances, the audience was oblivious to the tension happening behind the scenes. As the stage manager, I distinctly recall the chaos that went into each performance during Tech Week (when crew, tech, and lights are added). My job as a stage manager was to dictate set changes, backstage behavior, and cues for certain scenes. Sunday, the roughest night for backstage, brought me great stress due to the animated state of the cast; at one point, I could hear whispering from the opposite side of the stage during a scene. Ultimately, I had to give the cast a scolding to prepare them for future productions. Despite some rough patches, the cast and crew of Peter Pan were ultimately the best behaved backstage than any other production I’ve helped with. As the stage manager, I was regarded as almost a mother figure to most of the cast even through my cranky moments when I was operating on five hours of sleep. Most nights I found myself running to and fro to help a frazzled cast member get ready for the show; on the other hand, I was also bustling to complete various tasks for the directors (Frau Gutherie and Senora Hadsell). In fact, most of the crew and cast were also completing tasks for the directors. Between spending more than five hours a night with these people and attending all the cast parties, the backstage experience with this year’s theater group couldn’t have been better. To say our final goodbyes to the directors, the seniors gave Frau Guthrie and Senora Hadsell Peter Pan themed bracelets. So while I cannot give an opinion on the actual performances, I can say as a senior that this was a better experience than I could have ever asked for.