A Peek Behind the Curtain


Abby Hermann

Planning stage directions for the traveling show "Cinderella," seniors Carlee Hutchins and Michael Fuhrman began co-directing the show in October. “I really like being behind the scenes because you get a new appreciation for [the show]," Hutchins said. "But I think, ultimately, I like being on the stage more. I like being able to get into characters and figure out the motivations behind [them].”

Madison Waltz, Writer

Standing on the other side of the door, preparing to hear their peers audition, seniors Michael Fuhrman and Carlee Hutchins are fulfilling a position they’ve never had before: Director.  

Stage Management teacher Jeremy Clay handed down his directing torch to an eager Fuhrman and Hutchins, giving them full control of the spring traveling show “Cinderella” after they requested  a directing job the year before.

“They understand the audience, and I have watched them mature in their understanding of all aspects of theater,” Clay said.

The show will be performed in April for the district elementary schools.

“I’ve acted in a lot of things, but I’ve also taken a step back before, so it’s not completely new to me,” Hutchins said. “As far as what Mr. Clay has had to do for every show, it’s a lot more work than what we gave him credit for.”

Hutchins said that Clay is still an influence on the co-directors, although he is not directly involved with the show.

“He’s reminded us whenever it does become overwhelming, that it’s still ultimately our decision,” Hutchins said.

Though unexpectedly tough, the job of co-director is something that Fuhrman has naturally fallen into, using his creative ideas within the entire show rather than his usual character role.

“I didn’t seem to have the same perspective going into the show,” Fuhrman said. “However, the more we’ve been working, the more I’ve realized how much I enjoy the directorial side. It feels really nice to get to use my ideas in the creation of the show.”

Creating the show takes work from the both actors and directors, and finding the balance between ideas has proven difficult for the first-time directors.

“Even though Carlee and I serve as the head of the show, I try to balance out our vision with the vision of the actors, since it’s their product too,” Fuhrman said. “Finding that balance has been more difficult than I thought.”

Getting to experience both sides of the curtain has given depth to Hutchins’ view of the stage, especially having to stand on the other side of a casting call, judging her peers rather than standing beside them.

“I’ve never been on the other side of a casting call,” Hutchins said, “It was really weird having people I’ve auditioned [with] audition for me. It was different to see how people approach [me], it was a different level of respect. That was new and not at all expected.”

Both directors expect a great show, and look forward to influencing the children in the audience, encouraging them to join drama at the high school level. Fuhrman said he hopes “showing these younger kids how much fun theater is will encourage them to audition when they make it up to the high school.”

“I’m most looking forward to getting to talk to the kids about all the hard work the actors have put in, and about how, one day, they can be involved in the class and they can be the ones directing, or on the stage,” Hutchins said.