The show doesn’t stop there!
By: Katie Hayes
When Dorothy Robinson goes to a play, she notes the mood and tone of the stage — the lighting, the set and the props.
“I think a lot of people enjoy acting because you are the vessel that your art comes out in,” Robinson said. “In props, the vessel that all of the [artistry] comes out of is the props themselves and so the credit goes to the props and less to you — while in acting the credit all goes to the actor.”
Dorothy Robinson was the props manager for “Noises Off.” She collected props, ensured they were in place before and after each show and managed their placement during the show.
“The lighting and the set and the props all add to the mood and the tone of a show, like whether it’s showing how much more professional it is or even tone itself in the play,” Robinson said. “I feel like a lot of people don’t realize how much affect the lighting and the set and everything has on the rest of the show.”
Robinson worked backstage for “Noises Off” in October and is currently a light board operative backstage for “Violet.”
“There were a lot of props in ‘Noises Off’ and I definitely think that the amount of work that Darren [Thomson] and I put into props could equivalate to what some of the actors if not all the actors put in,” Robinson said. “And I mean acting is really hard, because I’ve acted before as well, but I definitely think doing backstage stuff is just as hard and artistically challenging — it’s just a different type of art.”
Robinson said Meramec productions are technically community theater, but are better funded than other community theaters in St. Louis.
“You could go down to other community theaters that have less money and you can see the difference in the set and the lighting,” Robinson said. “If they did the exact same show and had the exact same actors, the show would get different reviews — not because the actors were worse in either one of them — but because I feel like the set really does make and break shows. I feel like not as many people realize that.”
Robinson plans to pursue theater or lm and wants to begin with learning the technical side of both.
“I want to learn how to do lights and sound, but I also want to learn how to work a camera, like one of those big huge things, and how to do lighting for lm as well,” Robinson said. “It’s easier to make a career out of lm than it is for theater, so I want to be able to do both. Then eventually I also want to act, just because I like acting. But it’s definitely what I want to do for the rest of my life.”
Robinson said the point of college theater is for students to try things and find out what they can do.
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned and had to realize when acting or anything, like especially with auditions, you’ve just got to fail better,” Robinson said.