Behind the scenes of CDH theater’s unsung heroes


Hair and makeup bring each character to life on stage.

Sophie Moeller ’23 and Sophie Nemo ’23 are the hair and makeup personnel for Cretin-Derham Hall Theater. Moeller has been a part of the theater department since her freshman year, Nemo joining in the fall of this year. Both work with the cast and crew to prepare actors for their debut on stage. The usage of makeup and hair is essential to any theater production. Actors wear makeup in order to accentuate their features and to make sure their faces aren’t washed out. 

“We apply it so the actors don’t look like a corpse walking on stage,” said Moeller, laughing. 

The makeup and hair depend on the character. They are given the creative control to help exemplify characters’ makeup if needed; this especially applies to animal characters. When working on The Velveteen Rabbit, one of the main characters, played by Tyler Mader ’22, was a rabbit. Nemo and Moeller worked together in order to create the happy medium between rabbit and human.

 “This ensures that the audience full of children won’t be scared of a teenage rabbit on stage,” said Moeller. 

They used makeup to showcase rabbit-like features and added bubble braids to mimic the appearance of bunny ears. 

When the topic of theater is brought up, most people think about the cast, but putting on a theater production is more extensive than that. The crew is one of the most important aspects of putting on a production, which usually gets overlooked. There are many aspects to the crew, from lighting to sound to costumes.

 “There should be more emphasis on crew when it comes to students getting involved,” said Moeller.

Theater is one of the primary places grades interact with each other at CDH. 

“It is one of the ways there is different outreach from each grade- you don’t know what it’s like until you experience it,” said Nemo. 

It is a unique experience where there is the most camaraderie among grades. It’s a way to make friends you wouldn’t be able to make anywhere else and seems unimaginable from an outside perspective. The sense of community attracts students from all corners of each grade, creating a beautiful blend of unique individuals. It’s a great way to make friends and branch out to others. Getting involved in theater is one way to make new friends at CDH, whether you are in the cast or crew. 

“It’s (crew) a way to make friends while not being in the limelight,” said Nemo. 

So the next time a production is announced, don’t hesitate to get involved!