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Setting the Stage

Setting the StageStudent theater groups Pen, Paint and Pretzels and Torn Ticket II welcome the Class of 2013 with their annual O-Show productions.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [09.09.09] Leading up to Matriculation on Sept. 2, members of Pen, Paint and Pretzels (3P's) and Torn Ticket II tucked themselves deep in the belly of the Aidekman Arts Center for a race against the clock.

For these two student theater groups, September's "O-Show," Tufts student theater's yearly event held for the incoming class, is a true test of talent and skill as they try to squeeze four weeks of rehearsal into three days.

This year's shows included 3P's performance of "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind" and Torn Ticket II's performance of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown."

"We're here from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day with only an hour's break," says Katie Weiller (A'10), 3Ps president and stage manager for Torn Ticket II's O-Show production. "The cast is picked in May, and they get their scripts and scores to practice over the summer so that they will hopefully know all the songs by the first rehearsal."


According to Weiller, the performers for each group came together for the first time the Monday before Matriculation. From there, they practiced for three days straight before heading to their performing space for the first time on Thursday. The crews completed lighting and other technical work on Friday in preparation for Saturday's dress rehearsal and Sunday's opening night.

With the short time frame, Weiller says the groups typically stage a revue of the musical's songs rather than the whole production, but this year she says they were determined to produce the complete package.

"It's definitely possible," she says. "It's just a whole lot harder."

Weiller says they have been able to trace O-Show productions back at least 30 years, and suspect it has gone on even longer.

"The event gives new students a chance to see the best of the best in student theater," Weiller says. "I was so impressed with the shows I saw my freshmen year. That is why I joined."

Story by Kaitlin Provencher, Web Communications.
Video by Joanie Tobin, University Photography.

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