Samford University just put on its spring musical, “The Pajama Game.” This musical revolves around a pajama factory in the 1950s. The employees go on strike because their boss refuses to give them a 7 1/2-cent raise.
I was fortunate enough to be on set and run crew for the show, enabling me to see first hand how the process of a show really works. Like any other show with a cast of 26 and more than 10 on crew backstage, preparing for it has been a full-department effort.
The production of a show starts weeks and sometimes months in advance (depending on the show) with read-through rehearsals, and in the case of musicals, dance rehearsals as well.
Costume and set designs sometimes start the prior semester and are continuously worked on, up until show week. A few weeks before dress rehearsals begin, the show rehearsals move to the stage, so the director can block the scenes. Here the actors get a feel of where they are supposed to stand or walk, and when.
Before full dress rehearsals can begin, the cast and crew hold a “cue-to-cue,” which is where the technical crew literally goes from cue to cue to make sure the transitions run smoothly. Cue-to-cue begins show week. Dress rehearsals follow, and before you know it, it’s opening night.
For “The Pajama Game,” we performed four days (Thursday through Sunday). It took a lot to get to the finished project, but in the end it was well worth it.
Photos by Lyanna Saito