Ready, set, action and repeat: Theater prepares for ‘Curtains’

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Photo by Laura Jones

Cristina Seanez, Staff Writer

For the past three months, the cast and crew of the musical “Curtains” have been practicing Monday through Friday and every weekend in between. The show will debut on Thursday, Jan.17, Friday, Jan. 18 and Saturday, Jan.19 starting at 7:30 p.m. “Curtains” is a show within a show that includes a mysterious murder, thrill, comedy and love.

One of the lead actors, senior Madison Jones, who plays Carmen Bernstein, said that she and the cast have been working day and night for up to 11 hours straight on some days to bring the audience an unforgettable show.

“I can’t even count the total hours we’ve been preparing for the show, to the point where I have wanted to take a break and cry,” Jones said. “We are all so into it and we love it so much. During this time I’ve seen the amazing talent and dedication Plano has and I know the show is going to be a success.”

Jones said that, through all of the time spent acting in “Curtains”, she has grown to understand her character better and has built a strong connection with her.

“My character is a strong woman,” Jones said. “She is so sarcastic in everything she does and says, which is funny because even I laugh at what I’m saying when I’m her. She is a character that comes out to be really harsh, but at the end she means good. I think me and her are really similar because we are really passionate about what we do. I feel really confident with her because I can see myself being just like her when I’m older. We both love what we do.”

According to Jones, the theater technicians, who make all of the props, the set and control music and lighting, have done an amazing job. She said the set is very realistic and that it is going to impress the audience.

“I feel like if we didn’t have all that, the show wouldn’t be complete, it wouldn’t be as good as it is now,” Jones said. “Tech has done a really good job and I’m sure everybody is going to love their work as much as the cast and I do.”

Senior Ansley Hamilton, who plays Bambi Bernet, Carmen’s daughter, is known for her dance skills in the show within a show that is presented in the musical. Hamilton said that learning all the choreographies has been hard but rewarding. Hamilton was notified that she will be taking over another dancer’s role last weekend, which means she must learn a couple more routines.

“Unexpected things happen all the time while preparing shows, and even more happen when the show is getting closer,” Hamilton said. “I have been practicing my dances a lot, and I feel a little stressed out because I know I have a little more work to do, but all the time I have spent practicing has been worth it because I have grown as a dancer and I love musical theater. It is just something I want to be there for and do.”

Junior Rachel Van Duyne, who plays Niki Harris, said that she has learned tricks to memorize lines faster from the seniors while working on the musical. The rehearsals began in separated groups of dancers, choruses and leads. Later the groups joined to put the show together.

Dallas Summer Musicals presents Broadway theater in North Texas. DSM awards high school musicals in a competition every year – something the cast of Curtains aspires to receive. A professional critic will be attending the Saturday night show to judge the performance and the actors individually to then decide if they are eligible to participate in the competition. Van Duyne said she expects a very good reaction from the audience.

“I am looking forward to a lot of laughter and shocked faces,” Van Duyne said. “The show has many unexpected twists. It is a very different musical and there’s not going to be a moment when the audience would want to look away. No one really knows what the play is about so nobody is going to be expecting the end of it. The audience is going to be surprised.”