Brownwood, take a bow.
The Brownwood High School Theatre Department’s production of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” which opens Thursday for a four-performance run, has been been a very difficult play from a technical standpoint, theatre director Shannon Lee said.
In the high school’s Dorothy McIntosh Fine Arts Center, where the play will be performed, many community members have stepped forward to help Lee and cast and crew members prepare sets, and also build what Lee described as the star of the show — a magical car named Chitty that can fly like a plane and float like a boat.
“We’ve had numerous parents come paint, come and help build, “Lee said. “We always have parents, but I will say this. Because this has been the most difficult show we’ve ever done technically, we’ve had a lot more parents step up to the bat and help make this a reality.
“It’s like that age-old adage, it takes a village to raise a child. This play is our baby, and it’s taken a village to raise this kid.”
The play is a joint production of both theatre and choir, as Cindy Franklin, the high school’s choir director, has helped the cast members learn the music to the musical comedy, which is set in turn-of-the-century England.
Lee’s husband, Brian, who teaches auto tech at the high school, and Randy Harkey, whose grandson Tim Crawford is a cast member, were among those who helped build Chitty. Harkey built the wood frame and facing, and Brian Lee did the electrical work and installed motorized trailer lifts that will make Chitty seem to fly.
Community members and cast members have used their skills to build sets and props including a motorcycle — which was made from an old bicycle — and a total of three cars, in addition to numerous other structures and huge painted backdrops.
Lee said her students learned to build sets “through practical application, through getting their hands in there and getting dirty and doing it.”
Preparing the sets, Lee and “Chitty” cast members said, is harder than actually performing the show — but it’s all worth it once the show begins, they agreed.
“The preparation for the play is super hard. It’s probably the hardest part,” cast member Mitchel Doud said.
And while set-building went on behind the curtain, rehearsals and practice took place in front of the curtain as the young actors sang, danced and recited their lines, fixed the mistakes, bringing an increasing level of high energy in performing the musical comedy.
Show times are:
• Thursday, Oct. 20 — 7 p.m.
• Friday, Oct. 21 — 7 p.m.
• Saturday, Oct. 22 — 7 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 23 — 2:30 p.m.
Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students.
Community helped make technically difficult ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ a reality
Brownwood, take a bow.