November 10 and 11 marked the performance of the first production of Humbletown: The Greatest Town on Earth in the state of Indiana. The students of Harrison High School made that milestone possible through their involvement in all aspects of the making of the play. Everything from the acting to the lighting to even ticket sales could not have been pulled off if it were not for the Raiders.
Most people are aware of the end product itself, but the time and energy invested by actors, tech crew members and staff into the play often goes unnoticed.
“We start with just a general read through of everything, and then we go in, and we pretty much do scene by scene mocking, so we can get an understanding of how everything is supposed to work,” said junior Jay Thoennes. “Then we work towards off book, and then after we're off book, we start running the whole show. We do that for two weeks before the actual show starts, and then we do tech week, which has mics and crew there and full costume.”
Rehearsals spanned from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m., nearly every school day for weeks. The juggling of schoolwork, rehearsal and other extracurriculars was frustrating for quite a few of the participants, including freshman Andrew Pribble.
“The time requirements made it really difficult to do other things,” he said.
However, the time put in by the students was greatly appreciated by the fall plays supervisors.
“I am always impressed with how dedicated and hard-working the students at HHS are when it comes to perfecting their roles for performances,” said Neil Radtke, the director of this production of Humbletown.
Though the time spent at rehearsal was plentiful, actors said that it was well worth it for the bonds formed ‒ time spent with friends and finally presenting the end result in front of a live audience.
All participants were required to persevere through common difficulties, like the exceptionally large cast of more than 70 actors.
“It's just hard keeping everybody on track and keeping everybody focused,” said senior Olivia McDaniel.
The actors are not the only ones that were involved with production. Without the tech crew taking care of the behind the scenes work, the production would have never been possible.
“Getting everything done on time before the show” is the most difficult part of the production, according to senior Tech Crew Director Ethan Post.
One constant among everyone involved was the encouragement of anyone interested to audition for future musicals and plays.
“It can be really scary as an underclassman, or even as upperclassmen, that just hasn't been involved in something like that, to put yourself out there,” said Thoennes regarding breaking into the Harrison theatre world. “But if you can just do it, and just kinda jump in the deep end, you'll have fun. There's no way that it'll be a bad time, or scary.”