The Paw Print

Is the Spotlight Shone on the Right People?

The technical crew deserves more credit than they are given due to the mass amount of time and work they put into each production.

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Is the Spotlight Shone on the Right People?

Traditionally, actors and actresses receive the most praise in drama productions.

Traditionally, actors and actresses receive the most praise in drama productions.

www.globalfood.cam.ac.uk

Traditionally, actors and actresses receive the most praise in drama productions.

www.globalfood.cam.ac.uk

www.globalfood.cam.ac.uk

Traditionally, actors and actresses receive the most praise in drama productions.

Kianna Koeppen, Diversity Editor

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When you think of a musical, play, movie, television show, or some form of visual entertainment that tells a form of a story, what roles do you think of? The lead actor with a crisp jaw line, handsome complexion, and stunning talent? The gorgeous actress whose stunning beauty matches their talent? The brilliant director who managed to pull it all together in incredible accuracy?

I guarantee that there is a group of people involved in theater that you have forgotten: the technical, or tech, crew. The costume designers, stage managers, set designers and builders, spotlight managers, light and sound board operators, mic operators, and more put in hours upon hours of work. They build the sets and move them around to create the magic. They create the sound you hear. They put tireless hours into a craft that they aren’t recognized for.

When you’re an actor, you go out and perform the show, but when you build a set it’s there: done and finished. It’s not something in your head; it’s something you can see and physically feel that you’ve done.”

— Danny Whiting

“I think a lot of people take the tech crew for granted,” Paloma Felix, a former Woodside student and current freshman at Canada College, stated. “When you watch a show, you go to watch the actors act and listen to the music. Very few people ever go to a musical or a play to look at the sets.”

Felix, who is studying technical theater, does raise an important question: if technical crew gets very little credit, then what is the point of working in a show?

“I like being able to do something where at the end of the process you have a physical representation of what you’ve accomplished,” explained Danny Whiting, a Woodside senior and co-assistant stage manager. “When you’re an actor, you go out and perform the show, but when you build a set it’s there: done and finished. It’s not something in your head; it’s something you can see and physically feel that you’ve done.”

I’m not doing this for the praise. I am doing this because I love it.”

— Meghan Souther

They say that the payment for tech isn’t the credit or the praise: it’s for the physical result, the pride in know that that object you made is yours.

“You really have to explain in detail to somebody to make it sound like you’re doing something real, because when they see a show they think it just runs,” Whiting added. “They don’t realize that it takes people moving… Running a show takes a lot of work, and people just don’t see that.”

As Whiting explains, people’s lack of attention towards tech crew is not always because they don’t care; it’s usually because they don’t understand the work nor how much time and effort its put into it. Meghan Souther, professional stage manager of Woodside High School’s theater, knows it does not get any easier with experience.

Running a show takes a lot of work, and people just don’t see that.”

— Danny Whiting

“To this day, I am looked to like I am not an important part of the staff, but I know it’s not true,” Souther expressed. “Because I know it’s not true, I ignore the lack of attention. I’m not doing this for the praise; I am doing this because I love it.”

People who volunteer their time and energy to do technical theater do it for the love of theater, not for the praise; still, they deserve recognition for their effort.

“Every single Oscar, they have the weird technical awards, which everyone just ignores because they don’t really care, and they don’t see that that is the hardest work that there is,” Whiting described.

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