Theater Arts at Penn

Author: Noelle McManus, C’17
As many of you may know, Penn has a rich theater community. What you don’t know is that I am very experienced in the theater arts and have been working in various theater productions since I was very young. Since I went to Girard Academic Music Program, a music based high school, I was given many opportunities to be involved in their musical theater community. In fact, in my senior year, not only did I perform in GAMP’s production of Grease as a dancer, I also worked with their costume crew and created a good part of their set. Since theater was such a big part of my high school career, I really wanted to get involved in the theater community here at Penn. In the beginning of the semester I interviewed to set design/crew for multiple theater groups on campus. That night I sat up late into the night awaiting the results. Lucky for me, I was offered a position as set designer for iNtuitons’ production of Midsummer Night’s Dream and as a set crew member for Stimulus Children’s Theater’s production of You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown!
This week marks the week for preparing the set for Midsummer Night’s Dream. On Sunday, we load in to Class of 1949 Auditorium and begin Tech Week! That means we laboriously bring the set from the PAC Shop at 40th and Walnut streets all the way to Houston Hall! From there we will construct the set from the pieces we created in the PAC Shop. I’m really excited to see my designs come to life finally!
On Monday, I have my very first (but not last) walkshift! This is when all of the cast and crew of Midsummer take turns standing on Locust Walk selling tickets and advertising our show! It should be a fun time and hopefully not too cold.
Our opening night is Thursday, November 1st. At this point in time, I’ve only seen the run through rehearsals, and they were AWESOME. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited to see how the show looks with the lights, set, and costumes put together finally. It was a true joy to work on this show and I feel a true part of the theater community here at Penn!

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