The Point

The Point

The Point

Behind the Curtain: The Pit Perspective

(Photo by Olivia Kao)

The PVHS Drama Department is notorious for putting on high-quality, entertaining musical performances each spring. Whether it is on stage or behind the curtains, everyone involved in the making of these musicals plays a vital role in their production.

However, a group of students that brings these productions to life sit completely out of sight from the audience: the pit. From dazzling dance numbers to breathtaking ballads and in-between scenes, the pit plays a vital role in the production of any musical.

The orchestra, or “pit”, is responsible for playing live music in a show. Rather than using a pre-recorded audio track, having a pit play the music of a production allows for much flexibility and freedom with the performers on stage. 

“It’s easier for the music to line up with the actors since…there are actual musicians that can follow [them],” said Peninsula junior and pit guitarist Justin Faal.

Story continues below advertisement

Whilst having a pit creates more room for artistry and improvisation for what goes on in front of the curtains, it is no easy task.“[Having a pit] requires a lot of coordination between the pit and the cast,” said senior pit conductor Ransom Liu.

It is rare for a small high school to have a pit, making it even more unusual for these few pits to be completely student-run. Most high schools will typically hire ‘ringers’, or professional musicians to play in the pit in order to obtain the best sound. 

However, the pit in PV’s productions are all student run, sometimes having student  conductors. 

“At times, it’s overwhelming to organize eleven people and stay on schedule,” Liu said. 

“Rehearsing is tedious and exhausting, but in the end we all want Heathers to succeed, and that’s what helps us pull through.”

With busy and tiresome rehearsal schedules, the members of the pit create strong relationships with each other. “You get to form a really special bond with all the other musicians,” says sophomore pit bass player Lucy Kinsolving. “I really enjoy being able to be a part of something this special, and being able to do it with my friends.”

About the Contributor
Olivia Kao, Features Editor