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Theatrical Roles

Theatrical Roles

The MSD of Wabash County Theater Department has experienced rapid growth throughout the past two years, and it is no mystery as to why. Originally having been revived after the pandemic by the wonderful production of “Clue,” the MSD theater has built forward momentum and taken on more rigorous productions such as “Into the Woods,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and this year’s musical production of “The Little Mermaid.” Through the combined efforts of the director Ms. Knee, the ever-changing ambitious and dedicated group of actors, and the many parents and sponsors who have made the technical side of productions possible, the MSD theater department has been able to build a respectable reputation stemming from its quality productions.

As for what goes into putting on a theatrical performance, there are dozens of moving parts that all rely upon one another. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and theater is no exception. The group works together to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as clockwork when showtime arrives.

As stated, there are many roles that need to be filled in a theatrical performance. Besides the obvious necessity for talented actors, stage hands are always in short supply. Stage hands are often overlooked, though they play one of the most important roles in a theater. They are responsible for raising and lowering the curtains, moving props between scene changes, assisting actors with quick changes, and so much more. Stage hands, in short, are the grease for the machine that make an excellent performance logistically possible.

In addition to stage hands, tech coordinators are also vitally important. Such positions primarily include lighting and sound personnel. A couple of students are able to aid the head tech coordinator, Ham, who has experience working for the Honeywell Center, in running the soundboard and the many lighting systems if they have prior experience or show a propensity for learning.

As for arguably the most vital element within a theater, the actors, there are still many opportunities within such a broad category. While lead roles are highly coveted within the world of theater, there are also smaller roles available that provide students with the opportunity to be a part of theater without the immense pressure and responsibilities that accompany a lead role. These smaller role characters constitute the ensemble cast, a group of typically entry level actors who are still learning the art form and students who have a desire to be on stage but do not wish to be under the spotlight. Ensemble members usually play multiple small roles within a single production that give them a taste of the acting world, give them experience to take with them into the next auditions, and give them a low stakes means of trying theater on for size.

As for the larger lead role positions, these are typically reserved for exceptional theatrical talents who have a deep love for the art of acting and have also risen through the ranks and applied the skills they learned from being a member of the ensemble. Leads are role models to the rest of the cast, setting a precedent for the future leads and exemplifying a dedicated work ethic that is necessary of all cast members in order to produce a stellar show.




In short, all roles are crucial to the success of a theatrical production and a performance cannot succeed without the cooperation of all individual parts of the whole. Just as a machine cannot operate properly while missing a part, a theater department cannot properly operate without contribution from all of its members.






By Emma Adams, Communications Student Intern