Behind the Scenes of Moon Over Buffalo

Alice Wolf and Daisy Rodas

Terra Linda’s theater department ended the year on a high note with their spring performance of Moon Over Buffalo by Ken Ludwig. Set in the 1950s, the comedic play follows a husband-and-wife acting duo and the chaos that ensues as their personal affairs meddle with their performances and jeopardize their last chance at stardom. This play can best be classified as a farce with its fast-paced comedy, unlikely situations, and plethora of entrances and exits made by the characters, keeping the audience on their toes. Moon Over Buffalo in particular was very complicated and demanding, both technically and acting-wise. The crew constructed an elaborate set with many doors and moving parts to transform the stage into a fully functioning theater green room, the place in which actors go when they are not performing. In this space, the actors performed stunts and recited their lines with just the right timing to keep the audience laughing. 


This production was student directed and produced, with the Drama 4 Honors students filling all of the leading positions behind the scenes. Senior Christianna Gatti directed the show, and while she had assistant directed in the past, this was her first time taking on a role of this size. Her work consisted of blocking scenes, helping with character work, and providing guidance for the sets, costumes, and props. “I had to find confidence in myself and my abilities in order to keep this show moving forward, and I was able to do that through the assistance and motivation of my fellow Drama 4 Honors students,” Gatti remarked on how she was able to accomplish the difficult and, at times, stressful task of directing a show. Student-directed plays hold a special place in her heart as they form such a tight knit community between everyone working on the show, making the result even more rewarding. As Moon Over Buffalo is a play with a lot going on, everyone working on it had to be fully committed and dedicated to pulling it off. And according to Gatti, the cast and crew was exactly that. “This play allowed both the actors and the tech crew the opportunity to show their full potential in taking what seemed to be an almost impossible task, into a full-fledged play that had four entertaining and successful performances.” 

This sentiment is echoed by senior Sajiv Kumar who also worked hard behind the scenes. “Student-directed plays are so special because of the community that is built, and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment when the entire thing comes together,” Kumar said. He acknowledges that while this complicated show was difficult to pull off, the challenges only made seeing the final product that much more enjoyable. He found the complexity of Moon Over Buffalo to be one of the things that made it most memorable. “Watching from backstage, all of the fast-paced physical comedy combined with the incredible collection of doors will always be ingrained in my memory,” Kumar concluded. 

Terra Linda Senior Zachary Hegwer was the stage manager for the play Moon over buffalo the last play he will be a part of a TL, the 9th play he has worked on. Hegwer has done almost every job backstage and has impacted the quality of the show in many ways. As a stage manager he works with each department to make sure they are all on schedule, helps out with sets when needed, decides who will work in the booth with him working on sound or light board for the play, and the week of the play he participates in the techie rehearsals to make sure everything is working (actors, sets, props, costumes, lights, and sound).  Hegwer mentions, “the student directed play feels like there is even more student involvement in all of the creative choices, with Mr. Pryor only guiding us.” Hegwer also enjoyed watching the play come together after working on it for long periods of time. Hegwer also says that when watching the play come together “I got to see a lot of the techies that I’ve been teaching really shine, and it’s nice to see them get recognized for the hard work they’ve been doing.”  

It is clear that the great amount of effort put into Moon Over Buffalo by everyone in the TL drama community truly made the story come to life. They all played a crucial role in creating the show with their skills and teamwork, making the final performance of the year one to be remembered.