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Seniors show off behind-the-scenes theatre work

December 12, 2013


Polly Mytinger knew two things when she came to Stephens College three years ago.

She knew she enjoyed theatre, and she knew she wanted to pursue a business career.

What she didn’t know was that the two worlds could be combined.

Then, during her first semester on campus, an opportunity came up to be an assistant stage manager at the student-run Warehouse Theatre.

“I ended up working as the stage manager and haven’t stopped,” Mytinger, now a senior, said. “That completely altered my career path.”

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Kelsey Looney's floral crowns and display board.

Today, Mytinger is confident running an entire production, from making sure rehearsals go as planned to making sure every show is as fresh and exciting as opening night. She makes sure props, sets and special effects work properly.

Once, she remembers pulling off a scene involving a trap door, where an actor rose from the dead, a scene that also required a fog effect, audio and visual lightening effects and the video projection of a ghost.

“The end product was brilliant,” she said. “That’s what makes it worth it.”

Mytinger was one of several theatre seniors showcasing their talents yesterday during an open house in the lobby of Macklanburg Playhouse. Set and costume designers joined theatre management majors to give visitors insights into what happens behind the scenes to making a show successful.

Kelsey Looney showed off her costume designs, including floral crowns, clay horns and sketches of a dress she made that was being used in “Inspecting Carol” last night. Stephens is a good place to study costume design, she said, “because of the good theatre and fashion departments and the way the two intersect.”

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A visitor admires Antonia Howard's displays.

Lucy Connolly-Brown agreed. While she prefers making costumes, especially Victorian-era gowns, she is also grateful for the opportunity to learn to work with a variety of fabrics in her patternmaking and other fashion courses.

“When I’m not in class, I’m always in the costume shop,” she said. “You always have a new project, something new to learn.”

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