Behind the scenes and under the sea

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Madelyn Knight

Jonathan Pierce, Spencer Crawford y David Bowman build something for the musical. The three stay after school along with others to work on the scenes for “The Little Mermaid.”

This year, Southport High School’s fall musical will be “The Little Mermaid.”  The show will be on Friday, November 18 at 7 p.m., Saturday, November 19 at 2:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. and their last performance will be Sunday, November 20 at 2:30.

The musical’s crew works on building and advertising products such as signs, props, and costumes. For this musical, the crew will be different from past productions. “The Little Mermaid” requires special makeup and special effects because the setting is “under the sea.”

“This year will be the first year in some time that we’ve had so much specialty makeup,” said Theatre Department Chair Barb Whitlock.

According to Whitlock,  there is going to be a group of crew members who will be practicing the specialty makeup for all of the different sea creatures.

Another difference from this year’s show and previous musicals performed at SHS, is that “The Little Mermaid” will have an electronic projection in place of a traditional backdrop. The technology of the electronic projection will create new jobs for crew members.

“The electronic projection for the show adds an element of technology that we’ve never had before so it actually creates different jobs,” Whitlock said.  “I foresee people having to be the projector crew; making sure certain things happen and that everything is running correctly.”

Whitlock stated that the electronic projection will also change traditional elements of the crew.

“Because we have a reverse projection, we won’t be able, or shouldn’t use our big spotlights that we always have crew people running because the spotlights could wash out our projection,” Whitlock said.

Senior Dylan Wire has been a part of the crew since his freshman year. He expects that the majority of his time this year, will be spent working on the lighting and special effects.

“[This musical] is going to be kind of weird because it’s going to be underwater and we haven’t done a musical like that before,” Wire said, “so the set is going to be different.”

According to Wire, the entire cast will be on roller skates to help give an under the sea effect to the set.

During the show, in addition to running the projection and working the lights, the crew has to move scenery in and out, work on makeup, and work on the sound.

“Without [the crew] the show would not happen,” Whitlock said.

Despite the challenges and changes for this year’s musical, Whitlock said she will always encourage students to join the crew. Whitlock thinks it gives students a sense of belonging, and the crew is different from other clubs at Southport. Wire agrees with Whitlock saying that they will always need more people to join the crew.

“I think it gives students a sense of true ownership in something that’s performed for thousands of people. It’s a big deal,”     Whitlock said.