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Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

The Student News Site of Granite Bay High School

Granite Bay Today

Tech takes the stage

Chloe Brown

While actors and actresses are hushed in their places, the microphone cables run up the cast’s necks and are taped to their forehead or cheek as they get into their position. The mics are checked and balanced, the lights are suspended on the catwalk, above the stage and in the silo. People working on sound sit in the tech booth to cue the sounds. Once the lighting is perfect, costumes are on, sound is ready to go, the people behind the scenes get ready to make the show happen.

Tech in theater consists of managing  lighting, sound, sets, props and costumes. Together these areas work in a production to establish time period, place and mood. Tech also includes the artistic team which is the director, musical director and the stage manager. 

“I think tech is important in theater because if there were no tech you wouldn’t have any set, any lighting, any sound, anything,”  junior Ashton Henderson Pitts said. 

Chicago, the Granite Bay High School theater department’s spring show for 2024 is more stationary compared to Shrek the musical, GBHS 2023 show. Shrek involved a lot of moving pieces on the set to make the show more lively and busy. Chicago is considered a bare bones set, meaning there are not many set pieces to be built and moved on and off the stage. There are pieces of set that will remain onstage the entire duration of the show including the staircase and the desk. 

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Choir teacher and musical director for Chicago, Susanna Peeples, has no previous tech experience before doing productions at GBHS, but it fascinates her how each piece of tech creates an original show for people to enjoy.

“Without that it’s really not the full experience… Otherwise, it’s just another rehearsal. Tech is what makes it a performance in that,”Peeples said. 

Peeples was so interested in tech that this summer when she went on a cruise she convinced the people who ran the theater to let her into the tech booth so she could see the tools they used on the ship. As it turns out, some of the lighting and sound tools they were using were the same things we use here at GBHS Theater. 

Peeples helps with sound as well as learning the music for the show and understanding how to sing the songs. 

“But in our program …, we’re only two people, and so we’ve had to split up some of these jobs,” Peeples said.

Zachary Magan, head of the drama department at GBHS, took a theater tech class in college. Over the years, he has worked with smaller companies and learned how to control lights and sound during a show and build things like sets and props. 

Magan wants to expand the tech program at GBHS. His goal is to have more students involved with working the sound, lighting, set design and construction of the set. 

Mary Frank, the parent production manager and head of costumes, has been doing theater for about 35 years. Frank runs the logistics of organizing the tech set up, sets up volunteers and helps keep things running so Peeples, Magan and the students can work on what they need done.

“It’s kind of a big puzzle,” Frank said. 

Frank also works on costuming for the show. In order to have costumes that are appropriate for the students to wear while dancing, Frank watches all the musical numbers for the show and decides how she would like to costume them based on the movements they do. She also needs to consider the time period, setting and if students have fast changes between numbers. 

“Without tech, our actors aren’t seen or possibly even heard,”  Magan said.

Correction: Article previously stated the microphones run up the tech crew’s necks.

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Chloe Brown
Chloe Brown, Staff Writer
Chloe Brown is a freshman at Granite Bay High School. This is her first year writing for Granite Bay Today.

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    Suri HaghiApr 10, 2024 at 1:22 pm

    Love this article!