The Right Look for “Oklahoma!”

Gianna Kolner, Crown Staff

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Every year, students in theatre spend countless hours working hard to put on a musical for all to see. This year’s show Oklahoma! is an exciting love story set in the territory with handsome cowboys, hopelessly romantic farm girls, and many more eccentric characters. To make sure the production goes smoothly, there are multiple crews of students doing work behind the scenes. Each aspect behind the curtains is crucial in making the show visually cohesive and properly convey the time period.

Makeup and hair play an important role in helping actors feel and look more like their character, and many things go into accomplishing the look correctly. Researching the time period, demonstrating different tutorials for the crews, and lots of planning are just some of the things this particular crew does. Head of Makeup and Hair, Becca Corn (11), states “Stage makeup isn’t quite like regular makeup. Because of the bright, harsh lights onstage, it has to be dark enough to not make the actors look washed-out, and durable enough to last the entire performance. We also do special effects makeup which takes a lot of time and training to get right.” The designs for this show are minimalistic because of the early 1900s time period. The girls will display rosy cheeks, curly hair, cute braids, ponytails, and hair bows. For the boys, it’s the same theme: a natural look with their hair slightly slicked back. Age makeup, stage makeup and contouring to make the actor appear older, will also be used on some of the older characters, including Aunt Eller and Andrew Carnes.

Rehearsals with full makeup and hair for the actors usually start during tech week, the week before opening night where the whole musical is run with all the elements of the actual show. Tech Week may be hectic for the crews backstage, but not as crazy as opening night for Hair and Makeup. “With about 10 people in the crew and over 50 people to ensure look right, we always have our work cut out for us,” she says. Preparation for makeup and hair start 2-3 hours or earlier before curtain opens and continue throughout the show with touch ups, as well as helping the actors remove the heavy makeup afterwards.

Becca adds “I never felt actually ready for the show until everyone was in full costume and makeup. Everything just comes together.” With a sigh of relief and a sense of accomplishment when final bows are done, makeup and hair, along with the rest of the crews, know they have done their job. To see the diverse talents of Marian students in both crew and cast, tickets for Oklahoma! are available in the office with shows February 12th, 13th, 19th, and 20th at 7:00 p.m., and February 14th at 2:00 p.m.

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