Among the many sounds of summer, there’s one in particular that’s a little more musical than the rest.
There’s 483 seats here at MSU Summer Theatre and they fill up for just about every show. So not only are there a lot of people in the seats, but there’s a lot of working hands to make the production happen.
One set of those working hands belongs to Hunter Benjamin.
“The energy is just great and everybody works so hard to accomplish the same goal and there’s just something so special about that,” Benjamin said.
‘Sister Act’ is kicking off the 53rd season of MSU Summer Theatre, and Benjamin’s second year on the cast and crew.
He’s one of more than 60 people that make 24 performances in two months possible.
“It’s definitely a team effort,” Benajmin said. “There’s not one person that you could take out and it would work without them. Everybody is a necessary part to the equation.”
Some of the production crew sticks to only production, but there’s many like Benjamin who put in well beyond 40 hours a week to put on a memorable show.
Artistic Director Chad Gifford said, “We have a lot of schedules where people are here working all day and then they go to one rehearsal and go to another rehearsal, and we have to try to manage that without burning everyone out. Luckily, they’re doing something they love and that makes it a little bit easier for really long days.”
The cast has some returning actors who have been a part of the theater for more than 20 years.
But whether it’s familiar, or fresh faces, all efforts go toward the same goal.
Benjamin said, “When you’re rehearsing, there’s not a huge audience laughing at your jokes or anything, but as soon as you open and you get the feedback from the audience, laughing at the jokes and clapping at the songs, nothing beats that feeling.”
SEASON 53 DATES
Sister Act, June 12-18
The Bridges of Madison County, June 25-29
One Strange Night, July 5-9
Seussical July 16-22
All shows begin at 8:30, box office opens at 7:30.
Call 701-858-3228 for reservations.