Culture Theatre

Curtain Call

The cliché, but nonetheless true feeling of butterflies in your stomach, sweaty palms crouched into the tight crevices backstage whilst your fellow cast members fix their makeup or their hair, mouthing lines as they listen out for their cues.

There is no real semblance of privacy or personal space as we all shift about from one end of the stage to another, as people go on and others lag about spread out on any one of the old pieces of furniture from previous plays.

Yet in the midst of all of that, you are met with this sense of clarity in your actions. The feeling of being completely in control. The stage becomes yours and each flick of the hair and piece of stage direction you haven’t already forgotten, each piece of improvisation in times of necessity feels like your own personal brushstroke on a shared canvas.

The audience ceases to matter, and as you find yourself in the shoes of another person, a weight is lifted off your shoulders. Gone are your own doubts and worries and fears and replaced with effortless liberation and suddenly, you are at peace.

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This moment becomes pure ecstasy and has been my addiction since I can remember. In my life, I have found that there are only a few other moments that could ever compare to that feeling of being completely effortless.

And the best part about theatre for me, is that it doesn’t end there. Though the stage has become my second home over the years, a place where ironically, I feel most myself, it was the inconsequential moments that truly made me who I am today.

The nights spent running about the school during production week, ordering in pizza and eating in the teachers’ lounge even though technically we weren’t supposed to. Hours before the shows when we would all gather and put on our costumes, get our hair and makeup done, helping each other zip into dresses or whatever else my great director Innocenzi decided to put us in that time.

Most iconic perhaps, the feeling of apprehension with the call of five minutes to curtain as we rushed to finish up, munching on marshmallows believing it would soothe our voices with all the singing to come.

These moments of friendship and togetherness are what I miss most in the wake of the pandemic. Remembering that with all the worries that came from being young, nothing compares to the feeling of isolation and loneliness that haunts me and many others as well.

And still, my memories of the stage give me hope for the possibility of reconciliation. Although parted now from the red velvet curtain and the pocket universes we would create backstage, I hope that once things become better (as they must), Lady Theatre and I will be reunited once more as my love for the stage will never yield in the years to come.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

By Ece Kucuk

Ece Kucuk served as President of The Student in 2021/22 and is currently a regular contributor to the paper. She was previously Head Editor-in-Chief and Features Editor, she has also been a writer at The Student for over two years. She is going into her Fourth Year of a Master of Arts with Honours in English Language and Literature and plans to do her Postgraduate in Education and Child Development. She has written for every section of the paper as well as written for The Rattlecap and other publications. Some of her favourite works include her reflection on being the child of an immigrant, her piece on introducing ice hockey, as well as her interview with children’s author Mariam James.