Tech crew adds essential details to show

By: Sarah Stortz

Hidden behind the curtains, an entire cast of students crowds together while they prepare for the big night. Somebody rolls up the curtain, and the actors take front stage, but several other students all dressed in black stay behind and watch as the show progresses.

These cast members, otherwise known as techies, work backstage on a range of tasks from painting sets, working lights, adjusting sounds, helping with makeup, creating costumes, moving sets and preparing props. Essentially, techies are the glue that sticks everything together to make a show.

With so many jobs, each section of tech requires a leader. Senior Cayla Rasmussen fills in a leadership role as the stage manager.

She directs all of the other techies on what they need to do backstage. Once it comes closer to the performance dates, Rasmussen sits with the director and takes notes on assignments. She learns about certain tech cues such as when the curtain needs to be closed, when the props need to go on and when the sets need to change. Afterwards, Rasmussen assigns these cues to other techies and they rehearse working through them similar to how the actors rehearse their lines.

“I love having the responsibility. I love seeing the end product and seeing that everybody worked really hard to make this show absolutely the best that it could be,” Rasmussen said.

She has been involved with tech since her sophomore year. She aimed to become the stage manager after seeing the connection all of the techies shared. “I thought it was great, and I saw that the stage manager then had this kind of control, and I like having control,” Rasmussen said “You had to work hard in making something great, and I wanted to do that.”

Working on the other side of the auditorium is senior Jared Rickard, who sits inside the booth and runs all of the lights for the show. Whenever he’s not in the booth, Rickard is setting the lights up above the stage and making sure that they all work. Rickard has been doing lights for the drama department since his freshman year. “If I had to say a fun part about it all, it’s pulling it all together. “ Rickard said “Like setting up the lights and figuring what angles it needs to be.”

Inside the costume room, senior Meredith Brich works by helping an actress put on her dress, filling out her role as the manager of costumes and makeup. Brich’s work usually consists of keeping track of costumes, helping actors find their costumes, helping actors put on their stage makeup, making sure that the makeup is put in the right places and fixing any rips and tears in the clothing.

Brich joined the costume team last year as a junior after being persuaded by her friend who was the previous costume manager. Hearing stories about the students in theater and the family-like bond drew her in. “I didn’t really have a group of friends at that point, so I was like, alright, this seems pretty cool,” Brich said. “I didn’t exactly want to be on stage because that was scary to me, so I thought that backstage was the perfect thing for me.”

All of the contribution from the techies haven’t gone unnoticed by theater director Michelle Rathe. “You can’t ever have a production without them,” Rathe said “As techies, you act more like a family because you have more time to communicate on and off than the actors do, since they’re always onstage.”

Although typically unseen, Rasmussen noted that techies are slowly gaining more recognition from everybody around them.

“Since my sophomore year, a lot more actors have started thanking the techies and realizing all the work that we do,” Rasmussen said. “It means a lot, and we really appreciate it.”

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