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Backstage during ‘Pride & Prejudice’

By Megan Bowers, Senior Staff Writer

The tiny, L-shaped room has only a single light fixture that shines with a bluish-black tinge and removes most of the edges from the room.

The walls are plastered with papers displaying scene changes and prop rotation. Three chairs, two black boxes and a small table are situated against the walls. The table is overflowing with seemingly random items that make up the props for the show.

A girl with a headset sits in the corner, peering through a crack in the walls at the scene on the stage. Every so often, she takes a drink of water or speaks into the headset with concern about what is happening.

Three other cast members sit around the room peering at the floor and listening to what is happening on stage.

When a boy rushes into the room and struggles with his gloves, they look up and one of them helps him adjust his sleeves and checks his hair for good measure.

The other two stand up in sync as they hear their cue. The curtain swishes behind them as they hurry to the stage.

The curtain swings again as two girls in light-colored dresses pass through hurriedly to get to their scene.

Moments later, the last two exit for a big dance scene, leaving the room empty, save for the girl in the headset.

Everything is still and quiet until the sound of the music from the stage drifts back to the room. The instrumental version of "Call Me Maybe" plays in a dreamy fashion.

The scene ends as quickly as it began and chaos erupts in the small space once again.

Now there are five cast members occupying the small space, working together to get ready for the next scene.

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Two girls help a petite girl in a blue dress change completely as she is going to be playing an entirely different character in the next scene.

When they have finished, the petite girl fixes her hair into a bonnet with bobby pins and messes with her stray pieces of hair.

The other two actors in the room begin to fidget.

One boy leans against the wall and takes out his phone, scrolling through the best social media has to offer.

The other sits in a chair stifling a yawn - the long, frequent hours starting to get the best of him.

As usual, this peace doesn't last.

Every few minutes, people exit and enter, arranging themselves to be as out of the way as possible.

Every once in a while, the cast talks to each other in hushed tones.

At least three boys who come in ask the girl in the headset if she is doing okay, which she responds with a thumbs up.

Others talk about their class load this week, leading one girl to admit, "I didn't even start studying yet."

A scream from the stage halts conversation and prompts everyone in the room to share knowing smiles with each other.

The mood grows serious rapidly as they prepare to go back on stage in just a few moments.

One girl sits face forward in her chair, mouthing her lines for the following scene.

Two boys lean against the wall, fanning themselves with prop fans and papers.

All three of them get up to help when another boy loses his glove. They look for it frantically, searching in hats and under chairs.

They recover it just in time.

In Studio 88, the show must go on.

Pride & Prejudice will be showing at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26-27 and March 2-5, as well as at 2 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 5-6.

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