Theater department makes it rain


Members of the “Singing in the Rain” cast practice their dance number in which it will rain on the stage.

Water will pour down as actors dance between the raindrops the first weekend in November.

In the fall, JC will present the play “Singing in the Rain” with the help of cast, crew, Director Kim Brueggemann, Producer Laura E. Lang, and Assistant Director and Choreographer Larry Hensley. This play presents technical challenges to the crew. The chief among these is making it rain on stage.

“I can’t wait to see how they are going to make it rain,” junior Taylor Hoch said.

The current plan is to have water come down from the ceiling and be confined to a specific area in the center of the stage. Here a “drawer” will collect the water and send it out through hidden pipes to the doors backstage.

“I knew that Mrs. B wouldn’t do the show unless she could make it rain on stage,” said junior Karly Horn, who plays the lead, Kathy Selden.

Set Construction Chief Shawn DeVoe and Technical Director Ed Lake are in charge of pulling it off. Both are parents of former students, but no longer have children attending JC.

“Making it rain isn’t the hard part; it’s making it rain, then drain,” Brueggemann said.

Set crew is working with DeVoe to get their projects finished in time for the play. Freshman Patrick Luft is one of the students on set crew who helps to build, paint, and create the sets for the play.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge because the pump we have to build can’t be loud and there’s no slope on stage to carry the water to the pipes, so a platform has to be built for drainage.  The water will fall onto the platform, which is slanted downward, and into a pipe so it can be pumped back up through the system,” Luft said.

“I think it’s amazing.  I think the audience is going to be really surprised, since it’s just a high school production.  I think it’s going to be hard, but I think we can make it work.  Worst comes to worst, we can always stand around the stage with hoses,” Set Crew Chief senior Carol Zubrowski said.

When freshman Kishan Patel first learned about the possibility of it raining on stage, he said, “I would be surprised. I would think you’re crazy.”

Other students who have seen more of the plays have different opinions.

“I’m not really surprised by it, because in ‘White Christmas’ they made it snow,” sophomore Abby Weldon said.

“We tend to do shows that other schools don’t do … that are difficult and challenging. We raise the bar each year,” Lang said.

In addition to making it rain, the cast will begin working on creating the silent movies that need to be shown during the play. They will film at the era-appropriate Liriodendron estate, one of the mansions in historic Bel Air, and add captions into the footage.

For freshman Sam Carie, the rain and the silent movies make her “really want to go to the play.”

Opening night for “Singing in the Rain” is going to be on Nov. 1 and tickets can be purchased at the school store.

Additional reporting by Brianna Glase.

Hope Kelly is an In-Depth Editor for The Patriot and