Band takes center stage in SAU’s “Chicago”

Patrick Dunnegan cleans and prepares a metal frame for the set of "Chicago." Patrick Kwiatkowski/The Buzz.
Patrick Dunnegan cleans and prepares a metal frame for the set of “Chicago.” Patrick Kwiatkowski/The Buzz.

While musical “Chicago” will be hitting the SAU theatre near the end of April, that hasn’t stopped the cast and crew from getting a head-start in production. The cast is already hitting the ground running by practicing lines and dance moves to put on a show for the audience. However, that leaves the set and stage to get into order.

Kristopher Eitrheim, the head of the theatre department’s scene shop, has already put to work on building parts and pieces that would help set the stage. He’ll have help from assistant Aaron Hook and student Patrick Dunnegan, among others, to put everything together for the show. An important piece that Eitrheim will be tackling is the platform that will support the orchestra for the musical.

“There is going to be a big platform,” Eitrheim said, “where the orchestra will be, instead of the pit area in front of the stage. They will actually be a part of the show.”

Aside from the big ‘band stand,’ smaller set pieces are needed to represent different places in the play, such as a prison and a courtroom. Other pieces that will be onstage are signs with lots of light bulbs. These signs will be popping onstage and add to the ‘glitz and glamour’ feeling of Chicago during the 1920s.

“Some of the set pieces would be rolled onstage,” Eintreim said, “either from underneath the platform or from the sides offstage.”
It’s quite a bit of work to accomplish, requiring a lot of wood and metal. There will also be light bulbs and equipment aside from just on the signs.

“There will be a lot of lights,” Eintreim said. “There will be visible lights on the band platform as well as backstage. However, most of them will be going into the fly space for the musical.”

With have just a little under a month of time until “Chicago” opens in Galvin, the scenic shop will be busy putting the pieces together for the musical. As the days continue, the set will come together and be ready for opening night.


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