Behind each costume or set-piece was a team of technical theatre students constructing the stage for performers to shine on. They each joined or led a variety of different crews, including paint, build, props, lighting, and sound.
“I’ve been doing lighting design since sophomore year and it’s always made me happy,” theatre senior and lighting crew head Sophia Tartakovskaya said. “When I heard we were doing ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ a well-known, upbeat musical, I was super excited to have such a big show in my hands that I could play with and try new things.”
After signing up for a crew in November, students accrued skills and items needed before opening. For the props crew, this meant sorting through the props room, thrifting for set pieces, and renting an Audrey II puppet weighing over 300 pounds.
“It (set design) involves a long process of first rendering, then drafting, then modeling. For me, it can take up to five weeks to complete all these steps,” Singh said. “We needed to work with directors and bring the set to life. The process is a bit longer (and) involves some back and forth and compromises, but eventually, a consensus is reached and you can see that product on stage.”
To ensure that everything, including props and actors, were in the right place at the right time, the assistant stage managers had spreadsheets detailing the availability of a prop, its entrance and exit, and any characters interacting with it. For theatre junior and sound crew head Amberly Rodriguez, knowing when and where each character entered or exited was crucial to coordinating sound effects or unmuting microphones.
“I have to make sure that my cues match the show perfectly. The audience depends on me to hear the actors perform, so ultimately it’s my job to foresee that it happens,” Rodriguez said.
Despite missing eyeshadow palettes in the hair and makeup department or teeth falling off the puppet for props, the crew nonetheless prepared for opening night.
“The feeling of a performance that took so much time, effort, and sweat to bring together something so amazing, to finally sit in the back of an audience by my soundboard to watch and hear the audience interact with the actors is just beautiful,” Rodriguez said.