A typical Saturday for the New Canaan High School Theatre starts at 9 a.m and can last for up to nine hours.
Most Saturdays are reserved as tech days, when full attention goes to all the behind-the-scenes activities.
As one approaches the stage door entrance from the outside, you may find you have to hop over a drama student spray painting a pair of shoes or a piece of scenery. And going through the back door, the saw dust is flying as a student behind goggles slices through wood for the set.
Heading further inside, another door leads to a room filled with racks of costumes that have been wheeled into place. Moms are working behind sewing machines and irons, students are decorating hats, sewing costumes or making props. Kids who are in an upcoming show may be trying on a costume for a fitting or learning the makeup for their character. On the stage, students and adults are creating massive set pieces -- often recycling those from past shows.
Delaney Davidson, Lizzy Emond, Rachael Mathis and Avery Wrenn are four of the tech students at NCHS who work non-stop behind the scenes. Davidson is the wardrobe head for the upcoming musical Disney's "Beauty & the Beast." Delaney is also "Desserts" costumes designer for the show. She created costumes that look good enough to eat. Those costumes got her a first place award in costume design in a California competition that many of the NCHS Drama students attended in February. At the same competition, Mathis won second place for set design for another show this year.
Emond, Mathis and Wrenn are all stages managers on "Beauty and the Beast." In a show with such a large cast, multiple costume changes for all of the characters, singing, dancing, fighting and even a little flying -- there's a great deal to coordinate for all these student stage managers.
"Beauty and the Beast" has its run from March 21 to 23 at 7 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. in the NCHS Auditorium. And on Saturday before the matinee is Belle's Banquet at 12:30 p.m. with food, games, visits from characters and a special boutique for hair and makeup styling before the show.
Sponsors include Ameriprise Mutual, Garden Catering, Karl Chevrolet, Milestones, New Canaan Cleaners, New Canaan Community Foundation, New Canaan Dance Academy, New England Academy of Dance, Parker Ear, Nose and Throat, Performing Arts Conservatory of New Canaan, The Bank of New Canaan, The Studio and Walter Stewart's Market.
Tickets for the performance and banquet are available online at www.newcanaanhighschooltheatre.com and during show week from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the high school lobby and one hour prior to show times.