Behind the Scenes of Matilda


Photo by Julie Gray

Crew members working on pieces of the Matilda set.

“Blood, sweat, and tears,” is how sophomore Makayla Gladden expressed what goes into the backstage production of a play at Holy Cross. 

This fall, the Tartan theater program presents Matilda. The play is based on the book by Roald Dahl and the famously humorous and staple movie many know and remember from childhood, but it is a different experience on stage. 

Although audience members see what occurs in front of the curtain, few are aware of what happens behind the scenes and makes the show go on. 

There are many backstage LOTAs and teachers who work tirelessly for weeks to make the play flow and function. Gladden, Assistant Stage Manager, said, “Managing and organizing people and problems, and directing them is by far the toughest part of my job.” 

Sophomore Sophia Skinner, part of the props team, described the most challenging part, “Keeping up with the demands for props and finding the materials.” 

The tech crew is also in charge of one of the most anticipated scenes, the discovery of Matilda’s telekinesis powers. This will involve a technique yet to be covered by the team, with lots of teamwork and time to conquer, due to the props that need to be flying around the stage. 

The person who really oversees everything backstage is Technical Director, Kevin DeSouza. DeSouza has been an essential part of all technical aspects of the Matilda production. 

“There are going to be moments in the play where Grace Miller, who is playing Matilda, will appear to move things with her mind…. all the stuff that is surrounding telekinesis is going to be pretty challenging,” DeSouza explained. 

Not only are teachers and students working strenuously physically, but also mentally, ams they try to figure out new problems and how to solve pre-existing ones. 

Under the lights, in the spotlight, are the actors. Challenging themselves daily to bring the best performance to the stage. Actors work for weeks perfecting the embodiment of the character for their time in the spotlight, however big or small.

Senior Grace Miller will be taking on the big stage as Matilda. Miller shared her biggest challenge, “Interpreting Matilda’s age and remembering how young, yet mature she is.” 

The show Matilda will be on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 at 7:00 pm and on Sunday 27 at 2:00 pm.