I got a behind-the-scenes look at the production of Falsettos—now you can, too


Tania Alvarez, Costume Manager for Falsettos. Photo by Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

Going behind-the-scenes of pretty much anything is fascinating to me. I’m a big fan of movies, live music, theatre, etc—but there’s always so much more that goes into those productions than we see. The Theatre Department at Birmingham-Southern College is putting on a production of Falsettos November 14-17, and we’re giving you an inside look.

First Things First—Here are the Details

Without seeing it firsthand, I would have never had a clue how much planning goes into the technical aspects of a show, like sound and light. Photo by Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

Falsettos, in short, is a story about family. How it can look different, and how it can carry us through all kinds of challenges.

*Please be advised that Falsettos contains adult language and situations and is recommended for mature audiences.

  • 1st show: Thursday, November 14 at 7:30PM
  • 2nd show: Friday, November 15 at 7:30PM
  • 3rd show: Saturday, November 16 at 7:30PM
  • 4th show: Sunday, November 17 at 2:30PM
  • Location: College Theatre at Birmingham-Southern College
  • Address: 900 Arkadelphia Rd, Birmingham, AL 35254
  • Price: $10 for students, $20 for public

Get your tickets here!

Production Starts Weeks Before the Show Opens

Props crew making food items for the show out of clay and paint—I was thoroughly impressed by how realistic the items looked. Photo by Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

An insane amount of preparation goes into a show of this scale. The beginning stages of set design and creation can start at the beginning of the semester (mid-August) for a show running in November.

For Falsettos, many different groups of students and advisors will have been working for up to three months on various aspects of production and preparation.

Over 40 Students are Actively Involved in Bringing the Production to Life

Costumes are certainly one of those things that the average viewer might take for granted—but weeks and weeks of work go into creating them. Photo by Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

The entire production crew is made up of smaller teams, including props, costumes, lights, set, sound, and more—and that’s separate from the cast itself (a.k.a. the people you see on stage).

Costume crew, pictured above, spends several months sewing and putting together costumes for the show.

“You only see it for two and a half hours at the most, but some people have spent weeks, months, working on that.”

Diega MacDougall, Costume Crew

Students work long hours in the weeks leading up to the show—generally in the evenings and in addition to full courseloads as BSC students.

A Production of this Scale Requires a Wide Variety of Talents and Areas of Study

Not only do students put in long hours for show production, but the various directors and advisors do as well. Photo by Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

While there are theatre and musical theatre majors in the cast and crew, that’s not the only skill utilized. Students can be involved in a wide variety of aspects, from construction to design to performance to public relations to management, and a whole lot more.

“I’m an environmental science major… For me, it’s my creative outlet. I keep doing theatre because it keeps me sane.”

Brianne Kendall, Publicity Management

Here’s Why the Crew Thinks the Show is Worth Seeing

The props crew puts in tons of behind-the-scenes work to make the show look as realistic as possible. Photo by Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

I asked the crew members why they think people should come to the show. They had a wide variety of favorite aspects and scenes, but the one sentiment that crew members expressed over and over was the emotional appeal of the show.

“It tells a really good story. It’s a story that people need to hear.”

Claire Lowe, Props Crew

The themes in Falsettos are just as relevant today as they were in the late 1970s and early 1980s when the show takes place. The ever-changing definition of family is something most have experienced, which makes the show accessible for all kinds of people.

“The last line in the show is, ‘This is where we take a stand. Welcome to Falsettoland.’

To me, it’s the writer putting his foot down and saying, ‘You have to make a decision, you have to do something.'”

Abby Akard, Stage Manager

Can’t Make This One?

Theatre, especially college theatre, requires a heavy workload for a few hands. Photo by Beth Cunningham for Bham Now

If you can’t make it out to this show, cancel your plans and go see it! If you want another way to support, you have a few options.

The Theatre Department at Birmingham-Southern College has several shows coming up in their 2019-2020 season, including four amazing productions next spring. Read all about them here!

You can also support the BSC Arts Alliance, which provides vital support for student artists—helping to expand programs, provide equipment, and bring guest artists and masterclasses to campus.

Don’t miss Falsettos November 14-17. Get your tickets today!

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Beth Cunningham
A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.
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