Durant Theatre Company Steals the Show

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Durant Theater Company

The Durant Theatre Company is filled with many talented directors, producers, singers, dancers, and, of course, actors and actresses. This group of remarkable students has put in so much hard work into their productions, kicking off the 2019 – 2020 school year with their play Brainstorm: A Journey Inside the Teenage Mind. While everyone in this organization has a very important role no matter what it is, Durant’s theatre productions would not be possible without the approach of backstage crew.

The backstage crew, also known as stagehands, works to ensure that shows operate and run smoothly. Stagehands do everything from taking care of the props all the way to controlling the lights and sounds, and through all that the backstage crew does; they create the charm of theatre.  Destiny Kyer, a senior at Durant who has done both acting and stagehand work, spoke to the importance of this kind of work.

“The backstage crew is incredibly important. Without tech, we would not have our sounds and lights; without stage, our scenes would not be ready in a timely manner, and nothing would flow together.”

“The backstage crew is incredibly important. Without tech, we would not have our sounds and lights; without stage, our scenes would not be ready in a timely manner, and nothing would flow together.””

With many seniors leaving the Durant Theatre Company as they graduate this year, they have to pass down their traditions to the underclassmen to keep the spirit of Durant theatre alive. Destiny Kyer remarked about their traditions that the Durant Theatre Company upholds.

“We do have a tradition, but it’s meant to be secret so when we have newbies they can get excited when it happens. It does happen before every show though.”

It is not just the traditions that are being passed down by the seniors, but also their knowledge. Jordan Maddock is a freshman at Durant and has been involved in only one Durant theatre production so far as a stagehand, but plans to be in more in the future; she spoke about learning the ins and outs of learning from the seniors.

“Our amazing tech, Gage Torgerson, has taught me everything I know as far as sound board, lighting, repairs, and how important it is to getting our shows running smoothly.”

It looks like the future of the Durant Theatre Company is in good hands thanks to the seniors.

The last show of the 2019 – 2020 school year was going to be Godspell, but, unfortunately, the Coronavirus outbreak caused a cancellation in a lot of school functions and field trips, including this play. While this was a huge disappointment for the Durant Theatre Company, they decided to look on the bright side of their situation by participating in The Coronavirus Time Capsule. This non-profit organization called Company Three is located in London, England and is all about teenagers expressing themselves through theater. Company Three has created a new mission for teens all over the world who are involved in theatre to create a time capsule filled with all the different ways these creative teenagers decided to do while in quarantine. Morgan Manigold is a senior at Durant and an active member of the Durant Theatre Company.

Manigold stated, “It is a great project to really document what this time was like for highly social and creative people like theatre kids … and how they dealt with it, and it is really cool to see how differently it is dealt with around the world.”

Morgan Manigold went on to explain that every week there is a new theme that everyone documents and submits to keep adding to the time capsule. To see the Durant Theatre Company’s weekly submissions for their time capsule, go to www.companythree.co.uk and check them out.

Overall, it has been a successful school year for the Durant Theatre Company. They had a fantastic production at the beginning of the year that not only was a big hit for the students at Durant, but also went on to win a “Superior” title at the District 9 One-Act Festival at USF; and while everything did not go as planned for the theater company as the end of the year drew closer, they closed it off by turning a negative situation into a positive one with their amazing time capsule project. The 2019 – 2020 year for the Durant Theatre Company is definitely one for the books.