Lamar Theater Prepares for Doomsday


Opening night of the production.

The cast and crew of musical The Crack of Doom or How I Learned to Love the Meteor were under a ticking clock on the days of December 8 through 9 as they prepared for opening night which was less than a week away. This was made clear an hour in to the rehearsal as co-director,  Aimee Small was chanting “5, 4, 3, 2…” and the actors scurried across the auditorium to get into position, all while piano teacher and music director of the show, Billy Craven underscored the tense moment with some arpeggios on the piano.

This atmosphere was described by spotlight operator and senior, Ben Grantham. 

“You can definitely feel the pressure,” Grantham said. “It hasn’t gotten to the point where we’re all super nervous but you can definitely feel the pressure.”

This tense ticking clock faced by the cast and crew of The Crack of Doom or How I Learned to Love the Meteor is reflected in the plot of the show which follows a group of college kids preparing for the end of the world set to come in a couple of minutes.

Mr. Carpentier, the show director, also felt tense about the comedic show.

“The most stressful part is wondering if it’s all going to come together,” Carpentier said.  “But this is theater and theater is magic and the magic of theater will make it always come together.”

As opening night gets closer, tensions between directors, cast and crew run high.

“We may have a really bad rehearsal one night and we may yell and scream at the students ‘get yourselves together’ and the next night it’s incredible [and] they’ve grown tenfold,” Carpentier explained. “Or we may just have a bad rehearsal and say ‘we had a bad rehearsal kids’ but the next night again [is] tenfold growth. Always, always see growth from one rehearsal to the next.”

Some crew members like sophomore and assistant stage manager, T.J Owers have their concerns. 

“We just need to get the technical side down with dancing and not everyone is here today and we just need a day where everyone is here to get the dancing done,” Owers said. “And it’s just not working, I’m going to be honest. It’s just not working, we need people to actually show up.”

However, Owers is still appreciative of the environment of the rehearsal process.

“It’s so fun,” he said. “Ms. Small and Mr. Carpentier make it such fun. We get to joke around and we do need to be serious, like today but we joke around and have fun and it’s a really light and bubbly atmosphere.”

The rehearsal process was commended by others as well.

“Very enjoyable, very happy, everybody’s happy to work and get it done, so very pleasurable,” Grantham praised.

He also talked about the way the play is being directed and the approaches Small and Carpentier are taking for this show.

“It’s very deliberate, at least for the dance choreography,” Grantham said. “It’s very thought out, and well done, trying to make sure everything comes together right.”

Senior Abigale Denhum also praised Small’s directing, citing the collaborative atmosphere she has allowed.

“We always collaborate on the dance or the movements or anything we do,” Denham said. “She will tell us what we should be doing in general but allow us to add a spin on it.”

This sense of fun and collaboration in the face of stress is keeping with the story of the show, which shows the stress the college students are facing as the end of the world approaches.

 “It’s going to be really fun,” Denham said. “It’s a comedy. It’s really funny and it’s an interesting story that I’ve never seen before.”

Many members of the production had high praise of the show with the words, “fun,” and “funny,” appearing in all of their bios for the production.

Dress Rehearsal of The Crack of Doom or How I Learned to Love the Meteor

All members have shared a feeling of being challenged by The Crack of Doom.

 “I feel like the hardest thing to do would be to follow all the cues of where to turn the spotlight on and where to put it and what to do when I’m not using it,” Grantham said. 

The show’s stimulating nature and innovative production has helped all cast and crew members evolve in their respective roles. 

“This is the first play I ever stage managed in high school and I’m surprised I chose Crack of Doom as my first because it is challenging and it has made me think outside the box,” Owers said. 

All of these efforts saw their fruit December 16 when the show opened to the public. At the time of writing this the turnout is not known but Carpentier expects “to have full houses every night.”