Behind the curtains: Abby McGuire and Abby Eckenrod


Kimmy Bennett

Abby Eckenrod and Abby McGuire are doing the behind-the-scenes work that helps a play like Grease come to life.

Jacob Hawn, Staff Writer

When you think of a musical, you might think of actors on stage, and maybe even a director formulating the play itself. However, there is one important role that tends to go unrecognized, which is those in charge of the curtains and what goes on behind them.

Bellwood-Antis High School students Abby Eckenrode and Abby McGuire fill this stressful role for the upcoming musical Grease, which is set to be premier Friday night at the Bellwood-Antis High School auditorium. 

Both positions were open following the announcement of roles in November, and both students began their participation in the first week of musical practice, which officially began following the new year.

Eckenrode is stage manager, cueing lights, spotlights, sound effects, and curtains. She is the engine behind what happens on stage, even though she won’t recite a line or sing a song.

The job is a challenge, but it is one Eckenrod is passionate for.

“Trying to remember when to start the music and cue lights, while also making sure that the music plays ok can be a lot, at times,” said Abby Eckenrode. “I love it.”

Abby McGuire is in charge of pulling the curtain in between each scene, an important role considering the number of different backgrounds the play will employ.

Although not playing a role on stage, both are equally as passionate about the musical. 

“The best part is making the show go on,” said McGuire, who enjoys attending practices just to see the actors and dancers perform. “Everyone sounds so good… I could listen to them all day.”

Eckenrod feels quite certain that the show will be a huge success. 

“I really hope everyone enjoys it,” said Eckenrode. “The actors have been working so hard on everything. It’s going to be a great show!”

The play debuts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Bellwood-Antis High School auditorium. Limited seats are still available online for the Friday show and can be purchased here.

The play will then have two showings on Saturday at 2 p.m. and then 7:30.