A student’s story

The students behind the scenes


Special to the Sun-Gazette

Last weekend, the students at Hughesville High School put on quite the performance. Over the days of Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9, the cast and crew from the Hughesville student body performed a total of three performances of this year’s play: “the Brothers’ Grimm Spectaculathon.”

This comedy production by Don Zolidis was described by members of the cast as “a compilation of kids’ favorite fairytales presented in a hilarious way that the audience will love!” and those who went to the performance agreed adamantly. The amount of time and effort that the students at Hughesville High School put into the production of the play rival that of any sports team and, just like any team, there’s more than one part.

Most of us are very familiar with the commitment given by actors and actresses in the play. They practice several times a week, have full dress rehearsals, and practice their lines nearly nonstop. Yet, many of us hardly realize that the students who work behind the scenes put in just as much effort as the stars of the show.

Luke and Jason Kepner have been involved with the play and musical productions at Hughesville High School for more than five years. Even with all this experience, neither one of them have played a lead role. Why? Well because their action takes place off of the stage. Luke and Jason have been involved with the behind the scenes portion of theatre productions at Hughesville since 7th grade. “My brother, Ryan, did it and he introduced me to it and I’ve been volunteering hours of my time every year since,” said Luke, who is now a senior at Hughesville.

The Kepner boys assist every year in the lighting, audio and other technical areas which allow the productions to run so smoothly and they aren’t the only ones. There are a total of five students who volunteer time to function as the Audio Visual (AV) department involved with the plays and musicals. Although they may not have to memorize a script, these students contribute just as much as the rest of the cast, whether that be at the normal two hour practice or during a full four to six hour dress rehearsal. “They really helped to set the tone of the scene with the different lighting and music. At three different points, they took a large role in the play, becoming disembodied voices and at one point they directly taunted the narrator. They’re vital to the running of the play and to the overall narrative,” said Samuel Benamati, a member of the cast and a senior at Hughesville.

The students who volunteer in positions like this for the plays and musicals may not be as visible as the actors and actresses, but they still put a lot of time and effort into the productions. The Hughesville High School’s next performance will be their winter musical of Beauty and the Beast. For those that decide to go, make sure to thank not only those who perform, but members of the AV department as well for all the hard work they do to ensure the performances run smoothly.

Thompson is a senior at Hughesville High School. Her column is published on the second and fourth Mondays of each month in the Education section. She can be reached at education@­ sungazette.com.