The Fundamentals: One for the Books

By Jojo Beiza, Staff Writer

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Beginning on August 29th, Niles West Theatre performed “The Fundamentals” in the black box theater for a total of five shows between the 29th to the 31st.

I attended the community performance on Thursday the 29th, and despite the show starting at ten in the morning, the number of people who were waiting for the doors to open was enough to fill up most of the seating in the spacious theater.

Starting back in May, the casting list went up for the production. Meeting up just twice over the summer, the five actors began meeting every day after school once school was in session. Three to four weeks later, they have practiced and rehearsed to perfection.

I never really cared for theater, it’s just never been something I would choose or pay to see by choice. Even in middle school, although the plays were incredibly cheesy, I was just never excited or happy to see a play or musical. When I began high school, nothing really changed. For me, the plays were still cheesy, and I still didn’t care for theatre. The Fundamentals, however, changed my mindset completely. I’m not saying I love theater now or that I want to see every play now, but it just changed my mindset. Not only with the plays themselves, but also with what goes on to make the play even possible in the first place.

This show had a total of six crews, and they included costume, scenic, sound, prop, lighting, and additional build crew. All of the students who were apart of these groups had an enormous part in what the final outcome was. Junior Elizaveta Kolesnik was the lighting designer for “The Fundamentals.”

“I kind of looked at what would look good on the set, what colors to choose, and I work with a co-designer. It was really an eye-opening experience because I usually do the tech part of it like hanging everything, so looking at it differently from a more artistic perspective was very interesting,” Kolesnik said.

“It did get a little frustrating as there was a moment where the set moved and we had to readjust everything, but yeah it was definitely an eye-opener for the future since I want to go into lighting design,” Kolesnik said.

I have never thought of what goes on behind the props, but after talking to Kolesnik, I realized it isn’t just hitting a light switch, it’s an actual job to produce the lights that shine on the actors. And as for the actors, all five are very talented and work together so well. Props to them for putting on such a mature piece for all to see.

Overall, I would have to give this play an 8/10. One factor that added to my rating is that this show was very mature. In the pamphlet, there was a note at the bottom of the front page that read “This production contains strong adult language and mature themes, viewer discretion is advised.” The fact that it wasn’t cheesy and was more fitting for a high school type of play made it enjoyable for me.