Category: Stage Door (3)
Student Forum’s first installment of the 2011–12 season offers three variations from a “behind the scenes” perspective, by theater students Jordan Anton (below), Jeremy Landes, and Esteban Cremona. These three acting majors recount their experiences on the costume run crew of the Department of Theatre and Dance’s recent production of the Edna Ferber and George S. Kaufman classic Stage Door. Thanks to our collaborators at Montclair State’s Creative Research Center for sharing these unique “reviews.” And for more, don’t miss Jennifer Wilson’s dramaturg’s blog.
As the house lights dim and the characters enter the stage, there is another performance, a hidden one, that is about to begin. Behind the black, wall-like curtain of Alexander Kasser Theater—lit only by an eerie blue lamp—are four people on the edge of their chairs. Startling in appearance, they appear to be waiting for someone…anyone. Finally, a foreign body can be seen nearing the area they are bound to. As predator to prey, they rush to the newly arrived body, rip off the victim’s clothes, and squeeze them into new attire. In a matter of seconds, the body is gone, and the four people who make up Stage Door’s quick-change costume team are beckoned back to the chairs, where they thrive. Any individual who witnesses the surreal, manic nature of the crew in their natural environment would need to pinch themselves to make sure what they glimpsed was real. Read more »
“Hell on Earth” are the first words that come to mind when I reflect upon my tenure as a wardrobe crew member for Montclair State University’s production of Stage Door, directed by Susan Kerner, which ran last week at the Alexander Kasser Theater. All right, perhaps that is a bit harsh, but there was certainly a plethora of instances when that very thought crept into the forefront of my sore, anguished mind. I must admit that I began my time at Stage Door with an eager hopefulness that was very naive. Reality, however, rapidly sank in within minutes of my arrival on day one. It was clear that my grandiose perception of the glamorized life of a wardrobe crew member did not account for the inevitable avalanche of tedious, tiresome work that lay ahead.
Upon my eighth trip back and forth from Memorial Auditorium to the Kasser Theater was when my disdain for this production set in. Read more »
“Your first job is to separate everyone’s costumes and put them in plastic bags, on the hangers. There are more than one hundred costumes—so get to work,” commands Debra Otte. Great, I love this job already. Not only did it feel like there were one million costumes, but each set of costumes did not want to cooperate. I never had so much difficulty putting clothes in plastic bags. I am not one for complaining, so I did not mind too much, but it was definitely a tedious job. It looked like this wardrobe job was going to be a lot of work.
After about an hour of dealing with these clothes, they enlighten us with wonderful news: “Now, you guys have to walk all one hundred costumes across the campus to the Alexander Kasser Theater.” Read more »