Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Sister Act ready to wow the audience

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The cast and director of “Sister Act” hope to entertain audiences during six performances of the show Feb. 20 to 24 at Bedell Performance Hall on River Campus.

Director Kenneth Stilson said such a big production is demanding

“It takes months and months to prepare a production like this, as much as nine months ahead of time, and it gets intense the closer the time gets to perform,” he said.

Rehearsal time is so important students came back a week before spring semester classes even started.

“We start rehearsals morning, noons and nights. By the time school starts, we are already deep into the production” Stilson said.

Such productions present challenges throughout the process Stilson said.

“This show has 38 people on stage, it’s got a dozen people in the pit, it probably has two dozen people backstage, and most likely another 20 people in front of the house running it, so the challenges are very complex with coordinating all of those elements,” Stilson said.

On the other hand, because this is a popular musical, there are many aspects audiences enjoy

“The thing that I love about this show is that it’s got, heart and soul. It’s a feel-good musical, but it has a really strong message in it,” Stilson said.

Actors feel confident about how prepared they are in comparison to previous rehearsals.

April Bassett, who’s playing Sister Mary Patrick, gave insight on the level of confidence she has overall.

“We are not 100 percent there yet, but it’s going to be gold,” Bassett said.

Maddie Johnson is playing Mother Superior in the production.

“It’s kind of scary to think about. I know my lines, I know my blocking, but I’m still ‘finding’ Mother Superior,” Johnson said.

She said having a leading role presents the opportunity to tell a story in artful fashion.

“To me, it’s not really about the size of the part that I have, or the amount of lines that I have, It’s just the communication of the story and that we are sharing this artwork that can touch many people,” Bassett said.

Alexia Buckner, who pays Dolores, said this role means so much to her.

“This is my first lead in the main stage and I’m one on the small list of black female leads that have graced the posters of the school, so it means a lot to me,” Buckner said.

As time winds down before production night, emotions are intensified.

“I’m pretty pumped because I look good, we got like the shining disco ball, we are going to be doing some old school disco. It’s just a really solid time,” Buckner said.

Showtime is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, there are two showings on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and one showing Sunday at 2:00 p.m.