By Meredith Pratt | Staff Writer
The acts in All-University Sing are a culmination of work put in by hundreds of individuals over the span of several months. Sing chairs, dancers, musicians, light and audio crews all come together during the production process to develop various aspects of the show.
Although hidden backstage, the Student Productions Committee oversees the performances and has its hand in every aspect of the show.
Established in 2009, Student Productions, is a committee of students that lead and assist in the creative process of Baylor’s competitive productions. These productions include All-University Sing, Pigskin Revue, After Dark and StompFest.
Rockwall senior Lizzie Faletto joined Student Productions her sophomore year after she participated in Pigskin. She said that she was a “big performer” in high school and wanted to become more heavily involved in Baylor’s student performances.
Faletto said the Student Productions producers are paired with one to two groups of Sing chairs a year in advance to have sufficient time to plan their acts.
The groups then begin submitting ideas for themes, songs, props and backdrops. She said this period can be a stressful time for the Sing chairs, especially if their plans are denied.
“I love being the person these chairs can fall back on in hard times and also in the good times,” Faletto said. “It’s also just so rewarding to see your chairs grow in their sense of self throughout this process.”
Nightly practices begin in the spring and the producers attend every open stage and technical rehearsal, continuing to help the groups improve their acts with their feedback and instruction.
“We are with our groups up until the very end, cheering and hyping them up in Roxy Grove before their performances in the actual show,” Faletto said.
Bellevue sophomore Baxter Swint said she was convinced by Faletto to join Student Productions after she heard how much the organization had positively impacted her. Like Faletto, she also has a background performing on stage.
“Theater has always been a part of my life and the career path I wanted to pursue,” Swint said. “As a producer it is our job to be a group’s advocate and help mold their vision into a reality, which is what you see at Sing.”
For Swint, she said the most challenging part about being a member of StuPro is the “unpredictability of a show or event.” Despite the unforeseen challenges, Swint said she has loved meeting new people and creating friendships in the process.
“Student productions has been the place that I have found my home. It is a community unlike any other,” Swint said. “Theatre brings people together in a way I have not found anywhere else. Perhaps it is due to the demanding hours of work, or maybe it is the passion of every individual working alongside one another.”
Plano junior Addisyn Burlage has attended Sing and Pigskin since she was 9 years old. She said the performances captured her heart and ultimately influenced her to come to Baylor herself.
“I have to admit, Sing was part of my consideration,” she said.
Burlage said that after she joined a sorority, she knew she would have to wait some time before she could participate in Sing.
“While I was watching Sing that year, I noticed Student Productions name in the playbill and realized I could apply to join and work with Sing more often,” she said. “After getting accepted, I was so excited to fulfill my 9-year-old dream of making a Sing act come to life.”
Burlage said she is a “base level producer” and not an “executive level,” meaning she is not in charge of the show as a whole — only the acts she is assigned.
“If that’s helping them clean certain dances, telling participants to be quiet when someone is talking, or being a ‘dance mom’ cheering them on in an obnoxiously loud voice, I am there to make sure this is still a good experience for everyone,” Burlage said.
During the actual show, producers make sure their groups are on schedule as they run through their act in Roxy Grove, a smaller stage in Waco Hall, and also ensure they get their props and backdrops set up in time.
“The majority of people involved in Sing and watching it have no idea who we are or what we do,” Burlage said. “It is a slightly thankless job.”
In her first year with Student Productions, Burlage was assigned to work with Kappa Omega Tau on their act “A Night Before Christmas” which ended up winning first place.
“I think if you watch the video online of the awards you can hear me screaming off stage out of excitement,” Burlage said. “Even though I didn’t actually perform in their act it felt like I put as much care and effort into it as the chairs and we were all crying and hugging each other at the end. That was one of the best moments of my life.”