Backstage at Opening Night: Hair, Makeup and Wardrobe

As the audience slowly filters into Long Theatre, backstage there is a nervous energy building as the cast prepares for their much anticipated opening night of performances. The University of the Pacific Theatre Arts department is finally ready to debut the fall production of three, Tennessee Williams, One Act plays.

Derek Gunther Makeup 2 Shaun and Derek Makeup Alex DiPeppe Hair Close Up

Backstage in the men’s dressing room, we caught a sneak peek at Derek Gunther, a junior at Pacific who was working on his makeup alongside Shaun Shah, also a junior at Pacific. Gunther, seen left,  will play the role of Tom, in This Property is Condemned. Shah seen in the middle photo, will play the role of Man in Talk to Me Like the Rain and Let Me Listen.

As the two put on their makeup, Alex DiPeppe, a senior at Pacific, was busy combing his hair and practicing his southern accent aloud. DiPeppe seen right, will play the role of Jake in 27 Wagons Full of Cotton, a cotton-gin owner in rural Mississippi during World War II.

Words of Encouragement

The dressing rooms are long and narrow, with mirrored seating stations on each side. Each station has a small chair and is separated by vintage light bulbs. Tonight however, there was something extra at each station, a handwritten note of encouragement from Stage Manager, Shelden Balatico, accompanied by a cupcake and the famous words, “Break a Leg”.

Just outside the women’s dressing room, exciting chatter, singing and voices can be heard. Inside the dressing room, the cast is eagerly preparing for the show.

Splattered across the counters are bobby pins, powder brushes, concealer, foundation, eye shadow, eye liner and plenty of other makeup accessories to be found. In between the organized chaos of doing hair, makeup and costume, we were able to take a few photos of all the action.

Chris and Kelly Makeup Womens Costume Jessie George Hair

On the left, Kellie Manlaibayer and Chris Leonor-DiPaolo, both sophomores at Pacific prepare for their roles in 27 Wagons full of Cotton. Manlaibayer will play the role of Flora Meighan and Leonor-DiPaolo will play the role of Silva Vicarro. On the right Jessie George a junior at Pacific, is getting her hair braided for her role as Willie in, This Property is Condemned.

Luke, Shelden and Gary
With the show about to begin, we moved out of the dressing rooms and into the green room with just enough time to capture our last photo.

The Tech Crew made their final call to the cast and posed in celebration of opening night. On the left is Luke Bolle, the Assistant Stage Manager, in the center is Shelden Balatico, the Stage Manager and on the right is Gary Scheiding, the Technical Director.

This is the last week to see the Tennessee Williams One Acts performed by Pacific students in Long Theatre. The next performance is on Thursday, October 23rd at 7:30pm. For tickets and more information, please visit the box office.


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