Behind the Scenes of Singin’ in the Rain


Katelynn Hexamer

Nolan Gronowski (12), Daimon Anderson (11), and Landen Norton (12) in the guy’s dressing room apart, talking and having fun

Madalyn Cottrell, MVCurrent Writer

Not all high school theatre programs have been as fortunate as MV Theatre. Many fall productions were cancelled, and some were prohibited from performing at all. But in the midst of an unforgettable pandemic, the cast and crew were able to put together a “COVID-19 safe” production of the classic Singin’ in the Rain.” The cast worked endlessly to perfect their show, which took the stage November 19th.

A lot goes on behind the scenes of a musical. What the audience sees on stage is not  even half of what’s truly occurring. People have to consider the visual designing process for sets, the mechanics of the soundboard and the mics of nearly 15 actors, as well as the costumes, wigs, makeup, and the craziness of developing a routine. The tech crew was also literally making it rain on stage, which was a whole new process itself. 

“Singin” was also a crazy fun show with crazy fast scene changes and quick costume changes. This can make it very stressful for actors, who at times only had a few moments to nail a costume change.

The performance aspect of the show was another challenge entirely. The ensemble were a busy bunch. Many of them were playing 3 or 4 different characters with differing glittery leotards and wigs. I cannot count how many times I saw a member of our ensemble sprint for their life trying to make it on stage after a quick change, and I relied on many of them to help me during my time backstage when I was waiting for my next scene. The show would cease to function as smoothly without such a devoted group of people. 

Playing a lead role was challenging. Daimon Anderson, 11, who played Don Lockwood had to learn how to tap dance like Gene Kelly in just a couple of months. Benjamin Dostalek, 11, who played Cosmo Brown, had to backflip off of a platform during his show-stopping number “Make ‘Em Laugh.” Shiloh McFarland and Alycia Arkenau, 12, are splitting their time between playing the leading lady, Kathy Selden, and a complicated ensemble track. Imagine playing not one role, but three, and one of those being a heavy dancing role with difficult vocals. The two girls are inseparable, and seemed to enjoy sharing this experience together. 

“Being able to play Kathy Selden in ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ was the time of my life. I loved getting to play such a fun, genuine character,” said Shiloh McFarland, 12. “Even more so, getting to share the role with my best friend Alycia was such a memorable experience.”

Playing the squeaky antagonist Lina Lamont was no walk in the park either, and her character voice challenged my vocal endurance in ways I never could have imagined. 

“Singin’ in the Rain” was a blessing during such a dark time. 2020 hasn’t been an easy year, and hopefully this show gave people a reason to smile.