Behind the scenes of Taylorsville theater
December 7, 2016
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3…2…1…Action! With the musical coming to an end, many people only focus on what is happening on stage, but no one ever really thinks about who’s behind the scenes and does the majority of the building for the musical or any of the performances at Taylorsville High School. The people who help make the shows at Taylorsville successful are known as the Stage Crew. Stage Crew is a class where the students learn how to build and paint sets. The class isn’t just building, many of the students learn life skills.
Mr. Garner, the adviser of the class, says, “In this class, you can’t just think of the end product, you have to think about the steps and the process to get things done.”
This really helps with big productions like this year’s school musical Kiss Me, Kate.
For this production, the theater department had to spend thousands of dollars on new supplies and had to work harder than ever before to meet deadlines. The Stage Crew have been working since the 17th of August to get things ready. The students in the class measured a lot of the wood that the school had from past years to see if any was still usable in the Kiss Me, Kate performance. The wood that isn’t useful this time will hopefully be useful in the future performances, but the main problem with the orders that we get and using wood from the past is many of it has deformities. The majority of the wood in the “workshop” is bowed, or twisted, or warped, which is when it bends. With these, we do have to make do but it does make the process take longer.
When I brought up the question of how the theater department gets money, many of the students stated the same thing.
“Mostly from ticket sales and drama club activities,” Matthew Sanderson,Grade 11, and the head of productions, states,
“The money for last minute supplies comes right out of Garner’s pocket,” says Minna Edmunds grade 12.
But many of the students in the class never really knew how much the supplies would cost or how the theater department got the money for it all. I went to the only person who would know more about the money, aka Garner.
He stated that “We spend it all right at the beginning and hope we can make that up by ticket sales.”
Some of the students would stay after school just to help out more with what was needed for the sets. After a week of pulling and measuring, and taking a safety test, Stage Crew was finally able to cut the wood and set some pieces up to be screwed in. This all had happened in the first month of school! The musical wasn’t even going to be performed for the public until the 12 of November. As this deadline came faster than expected, when the deadlines approach the stress levels go through the roof.
With the stress levels that are giving everyone who is a part of the musical high blood pressure; in this situation, some of the best work came out of the Stage Crew. “This class has taught me responsibility,” says sophomore Rocco Allen.
With this stress of having to finish all the painting, designing and building, along with working tech for an entire 2 weeks (which also means not getting home till 6 every night), and the normal stress of homework. Some of the techies had some breakdowns.
“At some point all I wanted to do was hit a wall and scream” states John Doe (wanted to be anonymous) “It was hard with all the school work and having to be on time for rehearsal and juggling family relationships and work and having to get good grades; it was a lot of work and many sleepless nights.”
Now that this year musical is coming to an end a lot of stress has left techies to be able for things to go back to normal…well that’s until the Tempest is up and running at least.