Soren Zaiser and Anna Wieczorek bring skill and craftsmanship to “Clue: On Stage” set

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It’s anyone’s guess “whodunit” as the Hartland High School Drama Club presents “Clue: On Stage,” Friday through Sunday, Nov. 8 to 10, at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road in Hartland. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee Sunday.

From now until opening night on Nov. 8, The Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of “Clue: On Stage.”

The Hartland High School stage will soon be transformed into a mysterious mansion on a dark and stormy night for Hartland Drama Club’s production of “Clue: On Stage” — thanks to the talented tech crew, led by senior Soren Zaiser, and creative set crew, headed by sophomore Anna Wieczorek. The students and their crews have been working tirelessly to create a memorable sensory experience for the audience.

We asked Zaiser, the son of Disa and Kurt Zaiser, and Wieczorek, the daughter of Deanette and Steven Wieczorek, how the innovation of their respective crews brings to life the sights and sounds of the madcap comedy’s Boddy Manor.

Soren Zaiser | Photo by Joshua Archer

How has being the head of your crew impacted your life?
Zaiser: I have been involved in tech since my freshman year. It has impacted me by allowing me to grow my skills in lighting and sound. When I joined tech crew, I knew very little about lightning, and now I primarily work on lights due to how much I enjoy them. Working with our wonderful director, Mr. Usher, we have been able to grow our lighting arsenal to multi-colored LEDs, allowing me to also learn how to work with and program them. Overall, I love learning, and learning how to work in an environment unlike most other lighting and electrical systems has been such an amazing experience.
Wieczorek: Set crew has made such a positive impact on me. It’s like my safe place, where I can go to do all the things I love, from painting to building to socializing.

Anna Wieczorek | Photo by Joshua Archer

Was this fall show more challenging than others for both of your crews?
Zaiser: This year’s tech is not necessarily more difficult, as it is unique. We have used lights in front of the scrim (the front curtain that blurs the background set) before, but working with them as often as we do, from when the actors enter each room and then return back to the main hall, is so different — and it all happens much quicker than in previous shows. We have also had to aim lights behind the scrim in order to avoid illuminating other rooms on our unique set.
Wieczorek: The first show I was ever on was “Our Town,” and the set was very minimalistic, even for a fall show. This is my third show on set and it is especially unique for a fall show, partially because we have never done a set like this before.

What do you hope the audience will experience as a result of your crew’s hard work?
Zaiser: Our job, in tech, is to not be noticed. Everything we do is to contribute toward the story and not take away from it. Sure, there are some touches that may be noted by some, but if our tech is too obvious, then we’ve done something wrong.
Wieczorek: The set crew always loves to see everyone’s faces as they first see the set! We have so many incredible painters and builders, along with all of the parents helping out to guide us. My hope for the audience is that they are able to enjoy seeing the set as much as we enjoyed building it!

What other extracurricular activities are you involved in?
Zaiser: In addition to drama, I am a part of a non-school-based FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team in Fenton. During the fall season, I help mentor the middle school team. During the winter and spring, I participate on our high school FRC team, where I am the lead student programmer.
Wieczorek: Helping people is one of my favorite things to do, which is why I volunteer whenever I get the chance to! I usually end up helping out at my mom’s work, where I help prepare crafts for kids with special needs. This year I also joined DECA, and I have never experienced anything like it before.

What are your goals for improving your crew as a whole during this production?
Zaiser: Our goals for making our crew better are to just have fun. Being a member of tech can be very stressful at times, as there can be many consecutive tasks all happening in a very short amount of time. This can cause a lot of unintentional stress, as we, as a crew, have high standards for ourselves and hate to make mistakes. We can earn a “gold star” from Mr. Usher if we do well and don’t make many mistakes. If we make too many mistakes, we lose our gold star. This provides a little bit of friendly rivalry between the lights and sound teams and a striving to do better and better from each team. Overall, I think we have a lot of fun in our crew.

What have you learned from your peers and adult mentors in Hartland Drama Club?
Wieczorek: I have learned so much from set! The first and one of the most important lessons was patience, which I learned from the parent heads, Mr. and Mrs. Piper. Good quality work takes time and loads of patience; sometimes things don’t always go according to plan and that’s okay! The second thing I learned from being on set is to not take myself too seriously. Whenever I feel stressed my crew members are always there to make me laugh.

— Jennifer Stang

Tickets are available online at www.hartlanddramaclub.com and at the door. Individual tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students, children and seniors. Group rates are also available.

For more information, contact Mary Jo Del Vero at (810) 626-2360 or via e-mail at maryjodelvero@hartlandschools.us.


 

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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