Star of the school

Hedge reflects on his Pittsburgh Musical Theater experience

Leah McNear, Staff Writer

The house lights dim. The stage lights up. He takes a breath, then the scene begins. He acts as practiced. The show ends with satisfaction.

Sophomore Mason Hedge participated in Pittsburgh Musical Theater’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” He played three characters, Monsieur D’arque, an ensemble member and the Beast’s body double.

Last year, Hedge was known for his role in Freedom’s production of Grease as Doody.

“This production was different because we had limited time to put it on. At Freedom we have about four months. At PMT we started at the beginning of October and put the musical on at the end,” Hedge said.

Hedge also said the musical experiences were similar because both productions were doing their best to put on a show.

“It was similar because we basically did the same things as Freedom, we just compressed it into a shorter amount of time,” Hedge explained.

Preparation is involved in any production. Each day, the crew had about four hours of practice, an estimated one hundred or more hours total, including their performance.

To take part in a production, an audition is necessary. The auditioning process can vary depending on who or what someone is auditioning for. For example, in Freedom, a participant interested in a cast role receives pre-made materials, but when auditioning for a community theater or otherwise, a person picks their own song.

“Auditioning was kind of scary in my opinion. I was very nervous that the song I picked wasn’t good enough, or I didn’t sing it well enough. But in the end, it worked out alright,” Hedge admitted.

“Not only changing into different characters, but having to play three different characters was hard. However, I somehow managed to pull it off, so I’m very proud of myself for that.”

As the Beast double he had to play Beast while the real one was changing for the next scene. In ensemble he played a townsperson.

“I played as Monsieur D’arque, a person who runs an insane asylum. It was kind of difficult to portray him because he was a creepy character who did a lot of creepy stuff. So things like my walking, or my face had to be taken into account, and sometimes, I wouldn’t walk like him or I wouldn’t have the same facial expression as him. So to be like this character was difficult,” Hedge confessed.

Hedge also gave some advice to people interested in trying to be in a bigger production.

I would say go for that goal and try your hardest to achieve that goal no matter what people say and what people think. Don’t let anything stop you from doing the things you want in life, because you are the only one in charge of yourself and no one can tell you that you can’t do, because you can. The sky’s the limit,” Hedge said.