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Musicals through the camera viewfinder...


The Secret Garden The Musical - Decatur Underground Theater

By: Ryan Rinchiuso - Major Holmes | The Secret Garden


A famous quote from photographer Graciela Iturbide says, “In the end, photography for me is just an excuse to get to know the world.” I agree with this quote and think of it a lot when I am taking both photos and videos. When you hit the record or shoot button you capture a moment that will never be seen again.


In The Secret Garden The Musical, I play Major Holmes. During rehearsals, I am concerned about what I am supposed to be doing now and in the future. I am listening for my cue or getting in to position to come on stage that I don’t have much time to focus on the world around me.


In my work life, I am a teacher at Heartland Technical Academy, and I teach juniors and seniors business practices and branding using digital tools. One of the big aspects of the class is how to make a documentary to advertise a company/brand. This semester one of those videos is about Decatur Underground Theater ( DUT ) and the behind the scenes journey of putting on The Secret Garden.


Two of the students in the class have taken the reins of this video and they are doing a wonderful job making short videos showcasing multiple people and facets of the production. When I am helping edit the rough cuts with them, my eyes are opened to so much of what is going on during the run-up to the show that I don’t see, and it is amazing! To see the making of this show laid out and captured when no one is worrying about the camera and doing their best to make the show a huge success is exciting to watch.


The video footage depicts the choreographer in the background learning his lines but also sneaking a look at the blocking to make sure no one needs his help. The videos capture the director smiling because he can’t help but be excited when a person nails the delivery of a line. The documentary shows cast members with tears in their eyes when they first hear other members of the cast sing their solos/duets beautifully. It captures the beauty and magic of community theater at its finest - displayed most fully in musicals.


Decatur Underground Theater is a community onto itself, and putting on a musical like The Secret Garden takes the *whole* community. Being able to understand what a massive undertaking this is has been a humbling experience for the class and me.


The directors, cast and crew are putting in countless hours to give Decatur, Illinois, a show that will not be forgotten.


It is so easy to worry about just your part and not to look at the whole story, and I am glad that I got this chance to look through that viewfinder on the camera and expose me to the whole creation of The Secret Garden. Trust me and the camera when I say... you don’t want to miss this show.


See The Secret Garden The Musical, brought to the Decatur community by Decatur Underground Theater, at the Decatur Civic Center on March 24-26 and March 31-April 2, and follow us on Facebook to see some of the videos.


Ryan Rinchiuso, Cast Member: The Secret Garden - Major Holmes

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