Read original article at weloveannarbor.com.
Molly Reiser is the senior mentor for the upcoming Pioneer Theatre Guild production of “Oklahoma,” and her crew is responsible for building the sets on stage. The Pioneer senior also is building long-standing friendships, a bright future and a sense of “community.”
“The thing I love most about being in these productions is the sense of community,” says Reiser. “There is so much effort that goes into this and so many different aspects that make this possible, and yet we still manage to get things done. It’s honestly a miracle.”
“I’m most excited for tech week, my last one with all the friends I’ve made in PTG, where the cast and crew come together and see what we’ve made,” she says. “PTG provides so many different opportunities for its members, which I really appreciate. You’re not limited to one thing. You can be in the cast, crew, and stage management all in one season.”
This year PTG is bringing back StudPros, which they haven’t done since 2019. These are mini productions entirely run by high school students.
“In addition to cast, crew, and stage management, we’ll also have the opportunity to write and direct shows,” she says. “There’s truly so much to do here, it’s awesome.”
The sets Reiser and her crew are building include everything you see on stage, including platforms, houses and furniture. It’s a team effort all the way.
“We work together with painting crew,” she says. “We make the set, they make it pretty. During the show, it’s our job to move the sets into the necessary positions for the scenes.”
Molly Reiser, 17, is the daughter of John and Patricia Reiser. She has a 3.93 GPA and is one of two social media managers for PTG’s student board. She also is in World Hunger Project, which raises money and gathers food donations for local and national organizations to feed those in need.
Her dad was the one who encouraged her to give theatre a try.
“My dad was big into theatre when he was younger, and he sort of passed that on to me,” Reiser says. “The first experience with musical theatre that I remember was seeing PTG’s production of The Little Mermaid in 2015. In 8th grade, I saw their 2019 production of Fame. After that I knew I had to be a part of this, so I signed up as soon as I could and I’ve been with PTG since my first day of freshman year.”
With PTG, she has participated in sets for Matilda, Les Miserables (1, 2, and 3!), Into the Woods, You on the Moors Now, and now Oklahoma. She has done cast for Our Town, Peter and the Starcatcher, and Romeo & Juliet. “During our online year, I also got the opportunity to stage manage and assistant direct for our Plays at Home,” she said.
Reiser says the audience for the upcoming Oklahoma shows can expect super cool sets (and perhaps a surprise set piece)!
“They’ll also see an abundance of talent from our cast,” she says. “Our leading lady, Chava Klayman, genuinely has one of the most beautiful natural voices I’ve ever heard, and Alexis Evans, a.k.a. Ado Annie, has a remarkable knack for comedic timing that I know the audience will recognize and appreciate.
“On stage and behind the scenes, our members have undeniable talent that I’m so grateful to experience. You’ll leave Schrieber auditorium thinking, ‘wow! I can’t believe those kids are only in high school!’”
Reiser plans to major in creative writing in college.
“I want to be a writer,” she says. “I don’t really plan on pursuing theatre professionally, but I would love to write a play or screenplay some day. I think there are some stories that are truly meant to be portrayed rather than just read.
“I love Pioneer Theatre Guild with all my heart, and I’m so sad to be leaving”
By Terry Jacoby