Features

The Talent Behind the Talent Show

Darrius Estigoy (Sr.), assistant stage manager left, stands behind the show next to the curtain pulleys. (Rutuja Sabnis)

 

By DANIELLA RAPPARPORT
Staff Writer

The variety show only visited the theater for three days this year, but it was on the minds of the Drama Club for 3 weeks prior to opening night. The title change didn’t change the fact the Variety Show is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Drama program at Uni.

Ms. Ranae Bettger (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) and the Drama Club depend on ticket sales to keep the Drama program going and the variety show is their way to raise the money in Drama Club style. Bettger elaborated on the purpose of the talent show,

“Drama Club has a theory that because we are actors and performers by nature that instead of washing cars, something we’re not good at, we’ll perform and that will be our major proceed.”  Bettger said, when asked why they choose to fundraise through a variety show.

“Our goal with the talent show- or variety show,” Bettger went on to explain, “is to raise as much money as we possibly can in three nights in order to provide all the extra funds for the fall play and the spring musical.”

If the club doesn’t meet their fundraising goal they have to make the hard decisions to cut the comedysportz team or do a musical that doesn’t have as big a set as many are used to. To keep the club at it’s best, it’s important they start the year off big with the variety show. Not only do they try to push it big, but they also push for improvement every year.

After noticing the talent show tended to be dominated by singing soloists, the Drama Club board tried to change it up.

We kind of talked about rebranding and we said well, we want a variety of talent, we want it to be more like Facility faulies…” Bettger said, elaborating on Drama club’s reason behind the name change, “And we talked about a faulies really being a historical term for a variety show. So, we decided maybe we could use that concept and rebrand and call it the variety show in hopes of getting a variety of talent.”

And the call for new talent worked remarkably.

Reading straight from her clipboard Bettger counted “six cultural performances, everything from Diablo to traditional Chinese instrumentation.”

As always the tech crew held the show up behind the scenes. Stage Manager Maxwell Han (Sr.) and the rest of the crew is used to this responsibility.

“One thing special this year is that we have less time to prepare. I think we had Monday, Tuesday, and then Wednesday we have a dress rehearsal.”

With the show running Thursday, Friday, and Saturday that makes for a very busy week.

This year there is a new addition to the tech team, a shining light you could say. Assistant Stage Manager Left Darrius Estigoy (Sr.) elaborated on this new team member,

“We have movers now. Lights are traditionally just stationary, like you point them in one direction and then they don’t move at all. Well, we have moving lights now. It’s programmable on the light board. You can get it to do like neat effects. I think that was the first production that we used our own movers.”

Now this may not seem like a large help for the variety show but Estigoy knows, “The real purpose of the talent show (for tech) is to get us ready for the play and to see if new people are going to come along. Beginning Tech is allowed to do the talent show, so if you’re interested in becoming a tech we are able to gauge and see if there are any people really interested in doing tech, because they tend to do talent show.”

Because of the various efforts made the show was a hit. After friday night’s show Lorena Egea (Jr.), who came to last years talent show, said of the variety show,

“I think it was really good, and there were a lot of different things, especially cultural things which I thought was really cool, a lot more than last year, it was different.”

 

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