Stagecraft Studio Prepares Students for Production Careers
By Stephanie Harte
Photo Credit: Capital City Theatre
Although often overshadowed, a hard-working production crew is a vital component to any show. To help strengthen a younger generation of backstage experts, Capital City Theatre launched Stagecraft Studio, a series of “behind the scenes” workshops that allows students to learn from local professionals.
“The program is aimed at helping kids recognize that there are a lot more opportunities in theatre outside of acting,” said Gail Becker, Capital City Theatre co-founder and director of education. “We want to give them hands on experience and get them excited about the possibility of a career in production.”
Next up for Stage Craft Studio: a Wig, Hair, and Makeup Workshop instructed by Jan Ross on Dec. 2. Ross is the hair and makeup supervisor at Madison Opera, and has been involved with the company since its first performance of La Boheme in 1963. She has also designed shows for Indianapolis Opera, Augusta Opera, Syracuse Opera, and pretty much any Madison theatre group you can name.
As a member of the Madison Opera Chorus, Becker has worked with Ross on countless performances and described her as a perfect fit to teach the next Stagecraft Studio workshop.
“She's a fantastic designer and has a wonderful way of working with performers that gets them excited about all the aspects of hair and makeup,” Becker said. “Her wig techniques and instruction are top notch and her eye for the dramatic yet natural look on stage is superb.”
The Stagecraft Studio workshops are geared towards students 13 and older. Becker hopes students will use these workshops to become better prepared for college programs. The two previous Stagecraft Studio workshops focused on sound design and stage management. As far as future workshops, Becker is working to implement lessons on construction, costume design and scenic painting.
Other educational programs offered at Capital City Theatre include Find Your Light, a musical theatre intensive course, and College Prep 101, a two day musical theatre workshop for students interested in continuing their training in a college musical theatre program.
“Hearing success stories from my students is what makes it all worthwhile for me,” Becker said. “I was recently in touch with a student who went on to get a degree in stage management and is now working as a professional in Chicago. Seeing students go on to work at professional levels is so rewarding to me.”
The Stagecraft Studio Wig, Hair and Makeup workshop will take place Saturday, Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts Wig Room. To reserve a spot in the workshop visit capitalcitytheatre.org. Be sure to check capitalcitytheatre.org for future workshops as they will occur every few months.