CET Preps for Opening Night


Briana O’Neal and Alexandra Cubero-Matos paint the Urinetown set the morning of the show

The sound of Simon & Garfunkel mellows in the theater just hours before the opening of Community Ensemble Theater’s (CET) production of Urinetown: The Musical. Students are putting the finishing touches on the moving stairs that are characteristic to the show, paint is drying and ladders stand tall, reaching to the lights. A lot needs to get done by the time the doors open at 7:00 later that day

But it’s not like this is the only show with CET members committing their free blocks, lunches and most all other waking hours. In fact, devoting free time happens most every show. During a 2009 CET production of Little Shop of Horrors, paint was still drying on a set piece as the audience walked in. It does always turns out well, but people in the show can’t let that get to their heads. “It doesn’t come without work,” recognized Briana O’Neal, an actor and techie in the show.

There is still plenty to be done, though. “We have to finish up a couple painting things, and a few costumes things,” O’Neal said. “We’ll need to mop the stage.”

“And paint a few splotches that are all over,” added Alexandra Cubero-Matos, another actor and techie in the show.

“[We have to] set up the house, still,” O’Neal continued. “There’s also some safety things that still need to get done, like rigging some light backstage so that people don’t fall.” The list goes on and on.

CET added a dress rehearsal with an audience – an invited dress  – after the other four shows sold out: a move that was a good financial choice, but hard on the cast and crew, who have to prepare the show a day earlier than anticipated during the final week when time is already the enemy.

To a normal student, the theater is just an open door in a hallway, but a glimpse inside will show that it is so much more. As classes move on, a great show is coming together, and in the words of Quinn Strassel, “This school has no idea what’s about to hit it.”