Halloween has come and gone, but in between the hazy memories of orange, candy-corn, screams of absolute terror, and pleas for mercy, the sound of laughter and panicked bachelors will wonder through the minds of many.
Courtesy of the Mines Little Theatre, audience members were treated to a rendition of Boeing Boeing this past weekend.
Following the troubles of a young bachelor as he attempts to juggle the attention of his three fiancées with the help of his closest friend and trusted housekeeper, the play provided its audience with a refreshing break from the daily grind.
However, nights of fun and frolic rarely come without due effort, and from working around a limited budget, to adapting to a new style of acting, the Mines Little Theatre put in its fair share.
Director Josh Hoffman recounted some of the obstacles the team faced before curtains opened on Oct. 30.
“Between Boeing Boeing and Midsummer Night’s Dream we had around twelve hundred dollars,” Hoffman said, “Five hundred of that was spent on doors for the stage and the rights to the play was two hundred dollars.”
Aside from the tight budget, there was a lot more contributing to the teams’ troubles than it may initially appear. Hoffman’s inclusion of the cost of the doors hints at the care the technical team put into designing the set.
“The set for this play is the biggest we’ve attempted to my knowledge,” Hoffman said.
“We tried to do things as best we could. Constructing it was a real team effort.”
Unable to drill into the stage like regular productions, the team was forced to find alternative ways of making the set robust enough to not only stand up by itself, but also take the punishment of multiple doors repeatedly opening and closing.
Additionally, a standout feature of the set involved a periaktoi that the team used to transition the pictures on the back wall during the course of the play. While the overt presence of the feature is minimal by itself, Hoffman considered its inclusion as a testament to the team’s desire to produce a quality product behind the scenes as well as in front.
Hoffman praised the entire technical team for their considerable effort on the set, giving special mention to the technical director Zac Mimlitz for his hand in seeing the periaktoi through to the end.
Fortunately, the technical team was not alone in their desire to give their audience a quality experience as Hoffman had a lot of compliments to give out for his actors as well.
“The best way to make the a play work is for the actors to buy into it themselves,” Hoffman said.
“This play is very physical, very loud, very boisterous, and it requires constant movement. You can guide them, but you can’t just tell them what to do.”
The physicality of Boeing Boeing was something that Hoffman put a great deal of emphasis on, describing how it often took the actors out of their comfort zones to perform. Hoffman points to Anna Campbell as an exceptional example of the team’s improvement since the beginning of their rehearsals.
“You’ve got to remember, we have no professional staff and none of us are theater majors,” Hoffman said.
“This is a hobby and they take pride in it and put effort towards it.”
The entire cast involved in Mines Little Theatre’s production Boeing Boeing did an outstanding job of making sure their audience got a night full of laughs during Halloween weekend. Head lighting technician Luke Hansen has given the performance his thumbs up and a glowing review.
“This is the funniest show we’ve ever put on,” Hansen said.
With their latest performance now behind them, the club now looks forward to the coming musical, ready to surmount the plethora of challenges it is sure to bring along with it.
In closing, Hoffman said, “Thanks to those of you that came to see the show, the musical will be even better. It’s been a hell of a ride.”
His thanks also extends to his stage manger Katy Schneider, the alumni donating for the show, and the entire cast for their extraordinary work on the project.