Understudies take the lead

When most people go to watch a play, they don’t think of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Just ask junior Paige Wilson, who said that understudies often have a harder job than the actors themselves.
“It’s easy to be an understudy, but it’s not easy to be a good understudy,” Wilson said. She was an understudy for the 2013 play, “The Foreigner.”
An understudy is a person who shadows the main actor just in case anything happens to them. So if the actor is sick for a day the understudy can take the role during rehearsal.
“The person who is cast, they learn all the lines, they go on stage. An understudy, they’re cast to learn the lines, learn the blocking, learn everything that the actor does, but they never go on stage,” Wilson said.
Chris Evans, CMR’s drama teacher, said that there was only one time that he had to use an understudy in a play, and that was Wilson in “The Foreigner.”
That was until this week, when senior Anthony Tanguma took over the role of Schroder for senior Brady Bridgeman in “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” who was diagnosed with whooping cough.
Wilson said that she wanted to be an understudy since she had never been on stage before. She was terrified when the actor dropped out of the show. However, she said that other cast members stood behind her to give her the confidence she needed.
“There was no better feeling than, on the third night, taking my final bow with everyone beside me,” Wilson said.
Understudies play a vital role in the drama department’s various productions. Wilson said that still having to learn everything without being noticed makes it harder.
“You’re the only one pushing yourself forward,” she said.
Freshman Aidan Evans, who is understudying the lead role in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” said it’s really cool to be an understudy especially for him being under a person like Logan [Kropp], who has been in the drama department for three and a half years.
“Since being an actor I’ve gotten back into it, and it’s like really nostalgic for me,” he said.