This year, the theater department is kicking off its season with a farce for Fall Fest called Charley’s Aunt. For those of you who don’t know, a farce is a type of comedy where everything is exaggerated and physical comedy reigns supreme. I won’t bother telling you the plot of the show, but I will tell you all about the making of the production.How am I going to do this, you ask? Easily. I am stage managing the show, meaning I have been involved with the show since auditions and have been at nearly every rehearsal and production meeting, and I can give you the inside scoop. This show, like the Fall Concerts, is an exciting moment for the theatre department because, not only is it the first show of the season, but it is the first time we get to show off new talent in the department as well as see returning talent on the stage.Rehearsals for Charley’s Aunt started the second week of school and have occurred nearly every day since our first rehearsal, even on weekends. It has been hard work for everyone involved, but it has been worth it. As we head into a week of dress rehearsals, it’s extremely satisfying to see all the hard work finally joining and developing into a final product. The actors aren’t the only ones who have been kept busy, though. Our set is built by the Theater Practicum class that is offered every semester. Students are required to spend 3 hours a week in our scene shop doing whatever is necessary to get the technical aspects of the show completed, whether it is building the set, searching for props or helping with costumes. Those in the class who aren’t helping in the shop are the running crew for the show and are critical to the success of the show. The running crew carries out scene changes, aids with prop placement and sound effects, and sometimes even helps with costume changes backstage.The best part about this production is that not everyone involved is a huge theater nut, and for many, this is the first time they are doing what they are doing. Many of the students in theater practicum are new to theater, at least in the sense that they aren’t just watching a production, and they are learning what to do right then and there. Some of the actors in the show are also relatively new to the Bethel stage. My friend, Eric Goering, is playing the character of Brassett but he’s normally with me doing backstage stuff like, building the set or setting lights. No matter what a person’s experience is, the theater department will welcome them with open arms and that’s what I think makes it a unique and strong department. The department welcomes people from all walks of life and is led by our fearless leader Megan Upton-Tyner. This combination is also what is going to make Charley’s Aunt a fabulous show that was totally worth all the work.
Bethel College is a four-year, private, primarily residential, liberal arts college. Students may participate in campus spiritual life, fine arts activities, sports and more than 50 clubs and organizations. Bethel’s academic buildings, including its historic Administration Building, the Krehbiel Science Center and the James A. Will Family Academic Center, are clustered around the Green, an open grassy area where students gather. The college year consists of fall and spring semesters, a January interterm and a summer term.