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Behind the curtain: unveiling the unsung heroes of theater

In the dazzling world of theater, where actors often take center stage, it is easy to overlook the unsung heroes who toil behind the scenes: the dedicated crew. As the heartbeat of any production, the crew upholds the very essence of storytelling, capturing the director’s vision. The 2023-2024 high school show, “A Christmas Carol”, is full of talented and passionate crew members, working tirelessly to make the production the absolute best it can be.

“So, I love the crew. The crew is almost like the foundation and without a foundation, you cannot have a strong house,” Mrs. Cloud, Director of “A Christmas Carol” said. “Without the crew to be that foundation, to have the right lighting or the costume that fits perfectly or the props that are just right, there would not be a cohesive show for the audience to enjoy.”

In recent weeks, the crew simultaneously took down old backdrops from previous shows like “Newsies” and “Cinderella,” and repainted the boards to capture Scrooge’s bedroom.

Marianne McClure, stage manager for Christmas Carol, took it upon herself to stand in for actors that couldn’t make it to rehearsal.

“Being a part of the crew is all about doing what I love,” sophomore Ethan Harlow said. “I’m very hands on.”

The crew has several different branches: costume, lighting, sound, prop and set design. These teams all come together ensuring a seamless and captivating show.

“Last year, I was doing the spotlights for ‘Cinderella,’” Harlow said. “The year prior, I was onstage for the show ‘A Murder is Announced.’ Currently, I am on crew doing behind the scene set work for the ‘A Christmas Carol. So it’s been really fun just to experiment with the different elements of the crew. Being onstage and offstage are two totally different worlds. I really love both of them equally. If I could be onstage and backstage at the same time, I would absolutely do it.”

For freshman John Roberts, theater is something he was wary of getting into, and not just because he is one out of the six guys in the program. Roberts has yet to hit the stage, and his stage fright provoked second thoughts in joining ACTS Club for this season. Mrs. Wood, head of the theater department, introduced him to crew, and he immediately found his passion for lighting and design. Senior El Casteel, a four year member of the club, serves as a mentor, teaching Roberts all of the technical aspects.

“[El] knows pretty much everything there is to know about all of the sets and lighting,” Roberts said. “So I was able to pick up on it pretty quickly. But I also know that I

couldn’t do much without her.”

ACTS Club has truly provided TKA actors with a special opportunity, allowing each actor into one of the two shows of the season, giving students a chance to work crew for the one semester they are not performing.

“I think that because our goal is to be educational, it not only changes how we cast, but also how we approach people being in the crew,” Mrs. Cloud said. “Being a part of the crew helps our students appreciate and acknowledge all of the hard work that goes into making a production. I think our crew program allows our actors to realize that there are people in the background who don’t get applauded, and sometimes you only see their final product.”


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