There is more than what meets the eye in the theater program


The teachers involved in the CCCHS faculty musical put all of their energy into their performances.

Lindsey Landrum, Co-Editor-in-Chief and Humor Writer

The theater program at Coffee County Central High School has been entertaining locals with their productions for years. However, there is an immense amount of hard work that goes into every show that is seldom recognized.

When seated in the audience, a casual theater-goer may only observe the powerful singing of a performer or the change of lighting as a character drifts into a dream. Some may never realize the amount of practice needed to sing for the extended periods of time or ensure that the lights are programmed correctly.

Before the cast of a production can even be selected, a show must be carefully chosen based on specific requirements.

Jonathan Higdon, the director of the theater program at CCCHS, said, “You need to hopefully pick something that has name recognition, something that the audience is going to want to come see.”

Higdon also added that the production must be both ethnically correct for your cast and appropriate enough to present to an audience.

On top of rehearsing lines and songs on their own time, the cast of a show spends several long and tiresome hours a week practicing with their fellow actors and actresses. There is seldom a static moment when there are lines to be learned, songs to be polished, and set pieces to be built.

In order to conserve the money that is acquired by the theater program through ticket sales, certain props, costumes, and set pieces from previous shows are used in other ways. The theater is almost bursting at the seams with its many relics of the past.

On the topic of props and set pieces, Higdon commented, “One of my favorite ones to build was the dynamite plunger for ‘The Addams Family,’ which was an old bike pump, and we just built a wooden frame around it.”

Students from all sorts of classes come together to build and paint the set, and although creating the set for a show may seem as simple as putting up a wall or two, there are other requirements to consider. 

Kayla Knox– a foreign language teacher at CCCHS and a supporter of the theater program– said, “I always have students that are part of the art club asking to go do set builds for theater and everything. So– to use an old saying–  they’re running around like chickens with their heads cut off.”

For example, a show like “Oklahoma!” may only require a few moving pieces to its backdrop, as the scenery only changes a few times throughout the musical. 

On the other hand, if you select a show like “Lucky Stiff” where the characters are moving from place to place often, you would have to find a feasible solution for the excess scene changes.

Knox also commented, “I think what impresses me most is you usually see the theater the way it looks the days before and everything is a mess, but then, come first showing, everything is together.”

Complex productions never come without a substantial amount of hard work. However, in the end, the hope of the CCCHS theater program is to make the challenging seem natural and the complex seem simple.