The imagination of children is something fascinating, stretching the boundaries beyond our limits from creating stories to even levitating cups. The process of “Matilda” was all about brainstorming and being able to create a playground on stage with a childlike feeling through the guidance of the author, Roald Dahl. However, to many of us, being able to see a live stage production brought to life in just a few months is fascinating and we may even wonder: “How does this show production come to be and who are the creative masterminds that oversee this lengthy process?”There are many brilliant people behind the scenes, including Director Molly Wiebe Faber who chose this brilliant story.
Behind each inspiration, a deep love and passion for something needs to be have a motivation. Wiebe Faber, a professor in the theater department describes her deep love for reading by reminiscing of her childhood stating, “Books transported me to new worlds where I became all sorts of characters”. She also wanted to give the actors the same experience, by allowing them to feel like kids and it brings the audience for a ride. Creating a playground on stage creates a sense of playfulness all around the audience she also states “Theatre provides the same feeling of transportation that books do”. However, behind each great idea there is a big crew to bring this process to life.
In order to create a huge production on a stage designs have to be drafted up but, lots of intricate design elements have to come in play in order to make everything fit just right. Ethan Koerner, the scenic and props designer for “Matilda” had a fun time choosing vintage props and furniture. Although along the way, he did run into a hurdle of obstacles. Creating a playing field for over 20 actors on stage and by creating a difference between practical vs aesthetical challenges creates a fine line between realistic and non-realistic. For many, being able to overcome these challenges can be a lot, but without fail, Koerner manages to overcome that challenge. How does he do it? Only he knows and everyone has their own tricks up there sleeves.
Every director always has a fantastic crew bringing all the elements, no matter how big or small, together. Even more importantly, a stage manager and assistant stage manager help oversee the process along the way. Madison DenHerder is the stage manager for this production and has been for past previous productions as well such as “Life Is A Dream.” For her, this process has been all over the place, but in the end comes together very nicely “bringing the picture to life.” With so many elements invested into this show, she describes one being the costumes saying that the costumes are really good and “brings the character to life.” She also adds that “Amber really popped off with the costumes.”
Although this is a very long, challenging process, the overall payoff in the end is worth it. From the beginning rough drafts, to being able to put on a full show in front of a large audience makes all the effort worthwhile. Wiebe Faber describes the show as a lot of fun, with humor for everyone. She states, “It has a lot of loud in your face moments, but also very soft touching moments”. The showings of “Matilda” are Nov. 9, 11, 16, 17 and 18.