The Inside Look at Stage Tech

AJ Hammond

Imagine an assembly without sound or lights. It would be absolutely pitch black with no sound. School plays and assemblies rely on tech in order to have a good performance. Stage Tech plays an important role in the school, yet there are only two classes of stage tech taught each year. Each class accounts for about 25 students who are able to use the technology and stage props correctly.

The Draper Park Middle School musical alone requires around 13 students each performance. The tech booth has all types of technology in it. Stage Tech is hard to perfect, because everything is about timing. Sometimes, it is hard to get the timing perfect; however, it is worth the hard work to get everything the way that it should be. As a tech student, you get to control the mics, music, projector, lights, backstage, and spotlights.

Backstage, there are places that most people don’t know about. One of them is the prop hall. The prop hall has all the costumes and the small to medium-sized props. While the prop room is for the big props as well, most big props are kept backstage. We also make the big props in the prop hall and paint them there.

Currently, for the school play, students are practicing singing, dancing, and blocking (where the actors stand and walk). The production team is choosing where the props will go and the tech team is practicing the timing of playing music and controlling the lights for the play. The assistant stage manager for tech, Riley Hamada, was asked: “What are the main things you do as tech?” He responded with, “Controlling the volume of the music and what song is being played. Also making sure the mic is on and is on the right volume.”

Usually, if there is an assembly, we have two tech students; while for certain special assemblies, we get 10 tech students for backstage, mics, lights, and spotlights. The class is two-quarters long. Students get to do all types of stuff. For example, you may get to direct a scene or make projects. The teacher, Mrs. Heiner, has always been cool.  If you think this class might be something for you, go talk to Ms. Heiner to see if you can make it into her class.