Set crew plunges into unique challenge for ‘Metamorphoses’ set


Bradynn Belcher

Crew set head Josh Leslie checks the levels in the pool on stage for Bearden’s production of “Metamorphoses.” Leslie led the construction of the pool.

As freshmen, most of us heard the rumors of a pool on the roof of Bearden High School. While the location may be bogus, that rumor is no longer completely inaccurate. 

Bearden’s theatre department has built a pool on the auditorium stage as the centerpiece of its set for the upcoming play Metamorphoses.

Set crew head Josh Leslie engineered the creation of the pool, working countless hours, including Saturdays, to finish the build before spring break.

Leslie and his crew have had to carefully think through all of the risks that having a pool center stage can bring when it comes to performance time. 

“It’s challenging,” said Leslie, who is a veteran set builder. “We’ve had to double and triple check that the base around the pool is safe because if there is a leak, or if the liner rips, then you have a bunch of water flooding the whole auditorium.”

While the play has not been performed in front of a live audience yet, everything in pre-production has run smoothly. The only problems that Leslie and his crew ran into were leaks here and there, but those were quickly resolved. 

Leslie is, however, hesitant about actor interaction with his project. Over the past few weeks, Metamorphoses actors have perfected how to modify their movements to look natural while they are in the water.

“There are some scenes where people have to run or move very quickly, which is a lot harder now with water on the stage,” Leslie said. “There’s a higher likelihood of slipping. 

“There is a lift we are going to have to change because we don’t want someone lifting someone else when it’s wet.”

The cast members may be the ones that audiences see, but director Ms. Katie Alley is quick to praise the pivotal impact of the set crew – particularly with a challenge as unique as building a pool on stage.

My set crew has done an incredible job of tackling the challenges posed by having a pool of water on stage,” Ms. Alley said. “Crew head Josh Leslie has done an outstanding job of leading his crew and problem solving all the many obstacles working with water has presented.”

There are six opportunities to see this pool in action. Opening night is April 21 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at for $15, and seating is limited.