Behind the Scenes With Collegiate’s Theater Program

A tremendous amount of effort (and talent) goes into every Collegiate School theatrical production – on stage and behind the scenes. While the actors out front typically receive much of the glory, here is a look at the students backstage who run the show.
Between 15-30 students work in a technical position on the lighting, sound, costume, makeup and deck (set) crews for each play. For the fall musical, “Into the Woods,” 24 crew members worked their magic backstage.

The lighting crew ran the light board programmed with all the cues. (The programming occurs during the tech rehearsal process.) The crew also managed three computers, one projector, four spotlights and 150 lights.

The sound crew ran the sound board, maintained and switched microphones on actors, ran sound cues, managed 24 microphone inputs and various other input devices, i.e., keyboards, guitars or other instruments in the pit. (Like the light cues, sound cues were programmed during the tech rehearsal process.) The crew followed along in the script to ensure that microphones were being turned on and off at appropriate places ,while continuously adjusting output levels to ensure every audience member had a good experience.

The costume crew pulled together everything the actors wore, and during the run of the show, they kept everyone's costumes in good condition and helped with quick changes. They also made sure to keep the costume area tidy and usable for the actors.

The deck or set crew operated primarily onstage moving set pieces, flying curtains and working with rigged equipment and props over the stage. They opened and closed all drapery and also handled special effects such as running smoke machines. Another important task was keeping the backstage area clean, clear and safe for actors running on and off stage.