Tech Crew fabricates musical and Dance Company show behind the scenes

Tech+Crew+members+manage+light+and+sound+from+the+booth.+

Tech Crew members manage light and sound from the booth.

Rachel Spang

 

Tech Crew members manage light and sound from the booth.
Tech Crew members manage light and sound from the booth.

The Drama Club’s “Seussical the Musical” and Dance Company’s “Juxta-performance” were both immensely successful this year. For “Seussical,” both the Saturday and Sunday shows of the musical were sold out in advance — a new accomplishment for the Drama Club. Though it is usually the performers who get most of the credit for a good production, there is a different group of people who are a fundamental part of these shows – the Techies.

Opposed to the performing members of the Drama Club – typically decked in costume, ready to take center stage to sing and dance their hearts out– Tech Crew members’ work clothes consist of completely black clothes that camouflages during scenery changes.

Though they are behind the scenes, the Technical Crew (or “Techies”) are as much a part of the Drama Club as any other performing member. The main jobs of the Techies include managing sets, props, microphones, lighting, and music and  to build sets. The number of the responsibilities placed on them is significant, for if they screw up a lighting cue, or forget to place an essential prop, it can seriously disrupt a production.

 After Meghan Keough graduated with the class of 2012, Drama Club Director Jim D’Attilio assigned her old position of Stage Manager – who is essentially the leader of tech crew– to senior Laura Drinan. The job of Stage Manager is particularly difficult and a huge time commitment.

Keough had been a dedicated stage manager and Tech Crew member for all four years of her high school career.  Drinan said, “I had really big shoes to fill.”

The colorful scenery that accompanied “Seussical” – which included colorful trees and clouds – gave Techies the opportunity to be more creative in their design than they were last year when they had to make simpler school scenery for “Grease.” Mr. D’Attilio provided them with the Styrafoam that the crew had to build everything out of – trees, wagons, and other backdrops and props.  The bright and colorful scenes that matched the wild costumes in the show brought the production to the next level in terms of aesthetic appeal. “The crew created great sets this year,” said junior Montana Gulbrand, a member of the Tech Crew.  “The trees in particular turned out really well.”

After all the hard work that is put into each show, she said, “[It is] rewarding to know that the time and effort contributed to drama club really does matter.” The successful show raised more awareness about the Drama Club and the ticket sales increased their budget for future productions.

Though the Dance Company created their own sets, they depend upon the tech crew to manage things both in the booth and backstage during the performance. Juniors Montana Gulbrand and Hannah Mullen worked as sound and light managers in the booth for both shows. Each of them had a lot of different jobs such as sound volumes, lighting positions, colors, and patterns, playing the video and music in sync and switching the music CDs. The stage crew has the responsibility of organizing props and sets that have to come on stage at the correct times.

Drinan said, “You have to be there every rehearsal and know the script as well as the cast does – and in some aspects, even better.”  At the Dance Company show, they were responsible for the constantly changing lights in the “Media Culture” performance.

Though it may seem that the Techies are underappreciated for all the labor they put into shows at the high school, these productions would not occur without these individuals. This May, they will again be called upon to help with the Spring Play, the Film Festival, and Foreign Language Awards Night as well as a number of other activities at the high school. At the end of each performance, when the performers gesture towards Tech Crew, make sure to clap as hard as for the onstage cast, as the Techies worked just as hard for a success.