Reporter goes backstage on 'Dearly Departed'

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

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Quarterton Productions presented the comedy “Dearly Departed” in three performances last week at the De Smet Event and Wellness Center and will present three more performances Thursday through Saturday. this week.

 

“Dearly Departed” is a two-act comedy that revolves around the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional southern family as they plan a funeral for their patriarch.

 

I took a small part in this production and got a behind-the- scenes look at what goes into putting on a show of this caliber.

 

To say director Trey Karlen is a perfectionist might be an understatement, but that is one reason why his shows are as good as they are. He instinctively knows what actor fits which character and how to coach them to make the character come alive. He knows what seemingly imperceptible changes an actor should make in voice inflection or body language to make a scene work, and how to best set up scenes.

 

Another reason for Quarterton Production’s success is the enormous amount of time and dedication that all of the people involved invest. According to Karlen, the principal cast in a comedy puts in about 65 hours of rehearsal time before the first show and performers in a musical put in about 80.

 

Since I was a background player and didn’t have to learn any lines, my commitment in the beginning wasn’t nearly as time-consuming as it was for the main characters, but, later on, it was enough that I came to appreciate the time and effort required by everyone involved.

 

Donna Palmlund

Staff Writer

The De Smet News

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