It wouldn’t be “She Kills Monsters” without the monsters

The importance of the ensemble in theater


Tristan Mcammond

The main character of the play battling monsters during her live action dungeons and dragons game.

 Theater has a wide variety of roles go into making a show a show, the most recent show being “She Kills Monsters,” a performance put on by the theatrical cast along with the plays director, Shawna Marquis, someone dedicated to the craft she leads and runs.

 Shows like this take a great deal of effort from the sound crew to the playwright; there is a lot to be done. But what about the people who are on the stage themselves. The actors, but specifically the background actors, the ensemble.

An ensemble is an array of supporting background characters to the main cast, and although it might not seem like they do much, they do a lot, such as singing and choreography, even minor lines if they have any. Marquis went into further detail about how the ensemble is handled and gone about in the work they do, she said

“There almost in every single scene, dancing, singing, they’re not usually as heavy in the acting part, but they have to go through and learn all the choreography, all the music.” Marquis then goes onto explain how the ensemble of their most recent show had to learn different aspects of fight choreography as they had played monsters, before going onto to explain how long this process typically takes “A production is usually around eight weeks of rehearsal time, and that rehearsal time can vary from two to six hours a day.” It’s clear a lot of time goes into perfecting things, but what do students have to say?

Sophomore Joseph Corbett had this to say “Well the ensemble basically sets like groundwork for main characters because it creates a world on the stage that feels more alive, with things in the background.” Sophomore William Burger, another member  said “It creates a fun show to watch, like it adds life to the stage. it’s fun.” 

For the audience these shows seem perfected, almost no flaw in sight, but a lot goes into achieving that look seen on stage, from learning the choreography to vocals, preparation is key. Burger having this to say about it, “It’s pretty fun, a bit unorganized but in a good way you know? It’s fun to just hangout with everybody, learn new stuff, try new things, yeah.” Corbett’s response to the same question being rather different, “It wasn’t too hard, it wasn’t that hard I’ll just say that.” 

The Ensemble is the starting point in Theater, and moving up in rank and achieving set goals is something most strive for, and when questioned regarding this Burger said “I really want to hone my skills moving forward, meet a lot of new people because i like the social interaction of all of it, just get all those moments you know, a good time.” 

Corbett was also asked the same thing, his response being “Well I definitely want to improve my life skills, like problem solving, and like working with groups of people and stress management.” 

Theater is quite complex, and it’s clear a lot goes into theater, and a lot can be gained just from being in it, whether you’re in the background, or up front and center.