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Just behind the limelight

THERE IS A RUSTLING in the crowd. Small talk and light commotion fill the void of white noise, and the last few people trickle into the theater as the clock ticks closer to 7 p.m. Just as time nears the official starting time, the house lights dim, a hush falls over the audience, and the stage lights come up — the show is about to begin.

But how did the show come to fruition?

Columbia College Chicago’s Directing II theater class of four students was hard at work this first half of the Spring 2019 semester to produce a piece of a larger play. Sophomore Theater Directing major Sonja Pardee directed a segment of  “I and You” and worked closely alongside junior Comedy Writing and Performance major Bethany Schmieder, as assistant stage manager.

“It was a really collaborative process, and my actors and I were able to work together to develop the characters and the blocking. I’m really appreciative of the insight they gave me,” Pardee said.

Behind the glamor of the soft hum of the warm stage lights are passionate people of the arts who work with the stars of the show weeks beforehand to put on a performance. Whether on Broadway or in local community theater, these crew members are the invisible half of the show that make it what it is — and university productions are no exception.

→ To view the entire photo essay, click here.

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