Technical Theatre

The Quick Change

the quick change
Written by Lindsay Price
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo by Sara Krulwich/New York Times

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Photo by Sara Krulwich/New York Times

I do love the Internet at times. I love it for the speed with which you can find something. The flip side of course is when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for it can be like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Not so today! Today I ran across one article about quick changes (when an actor goes off stage and ten seconds later comes back on completely re-dressed) and I instantly thought, oooooh I wonder if I can find more on that. Voila!

The New York Times talks about a variety of shows with Quick Changes, including the recent Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella where Cinderella changes from rags to ballgown without leaving the stage.

In the first video below you can watch how actors in the Harvest Rain production of The Wizard of Oz have to transform from Kansas to Oz with full on make up changes. One of the actors comments that when the actors have to go back from Oz to Kansas they have about a minute and a half. It is an amazing bit at the end with fellow cast members doing everything they can to help – basically stripping and scrubbing off their make up with barely a second to spare.

Lastly, back stage members of the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble talk about dealing with quick changes in The Mystery of Irma Vep where two actors have to play eight roles.

About the author

Lindsay Price