Behind-the-scenes showcases vital elements of The Crucible

Jessica Kantor | Staff Writer

When the curtain is drawn on the opening night of a school play, the actors and actresses on the stage are not the only ones making sure the night is a success.
Senior Gianna Mocilnikar has been involved in Mason High School plays behind the scenes since her freshman year.

“I have been part of theater since I was in fourth grade,” Mocilnikar said. “I was usually in the plays. I was in one play my freshman year here, and then I found out that there was costume crew. I decided that I wanted to do that instead. I joined costume crew, and since then I have been in nine different productions with the school, making costumes.”

Junior David Williams also became involved backstage during his freshman year.

“I initially took the Intro to Theater class,” Williams said. “The teacher said that he needed some help, so I came after school and really enjoyed it.”

Mocilnikar said that she enjoys her role as a costume designer more than being on stage.

“I do not wish that I played a more obvious role — it is very intense [to be in the plays],” Mocilnikar said. “During senior year, you have to want to pursue theater in order to be in productions. I could do so much more as a seamstress [in my future].”

Williams also said he prefers to be behind the scenes.

“I enjoy backstage work,” Williams said. “I am not good with lines, so I [choose] being backstage.”

Mocilnikar said that she helps wherever she can in the production of school plays.

“I am typically a costume designer on costume crew for our school plays,” Mocilnikar said. “I usually help design, construct and sew the pieces for the plays. We sometimes rent the clothes. I help with hair and makeup for the plays, as well.”

Williams also plays multiple roles in the school productions.

“I do a little bit of everything [for the productions],” Williams said. “I do some sound, some lighting and I build a lot. In the last play, I was the Set Head, so I built all of the sets. I basically help out with whatever I can do.”

Williams said that he enjoys making decisions for the school plays.

“I like feeling the sense that if I am not there, the play will go down,” Williams said. “I like the sense of being depended on. You have a bit of control over the play, once you work your way up. For The Crucible, I am thinking about designing some of the set. I usually design it, get the building started and then build some of the more complicated pieces.”

Although Mocilnikar said that although she enjoys her role in the school plays, the production routine can become hectic.

“The schedule is all over the place,” Mocilnikar said. “We work whichever days we are available — everybody comes in when they can. We also have a tech week before the play where we work all day after school for the entire week in order to put on the play. That part is the most fun, because everything comes together. It’s a lot of hours.”

During her hours behind the scenes, Mocilnikar said she is guided by Judy Hershner, the costume director for the school productions.

“Mrs. Hershner is amazing; she is the costume director,” Mocilnikar said. “She is my teacher and mentor. She always brings in candy, gives awards and does many other things [to make us feel appreciated].”

Williams said he also feels more appreciation from his adult role models.

“I feel the gratitude, but do not directly receive it [from my peers],” Williams said. “I normally feel it from the teacher. The people that I work with are not the ones to pat you on the back. They are more focused on getting the job done and moving on to the next one. I have more of a work relationship with them than anything.”

Mocilnikar said that she appreciates her role and enjoys the experiences she gains.

“I love being behind the scenes,” Mocilnikar said. “When no one knows how you are involved, it is interesting to hear feedback. I do talk about it sometimes, but most people do not even know I am involved.”

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