A look behind the stage

Casey Spencer '17

With the spotlights shining down and the microphones turned up to full blast in order for the students voices to be heard throughout the 11/12 auditorium, the sounds of ‘break a leg’ echoes ominously backstage before any Way Off Broadway Players production. These shows, particularly the musical are big events at Washington Township High School Though audiences are most familiar with the people front and center on the stage there is a stupendous amount of work that goes on behind the scenes through various crews.

For all play and musical productions, there is the stage crew, tech crew, costume crew, and prop crew. Each crew plays an important part in each production at WTHS. The students who participate in these crews perform various behind the scenes work to make production run smoothly. They make many contributions to the overall effort of productions and have a vital role in the success of each show.

“The stage crew is responsible for the building and painting of each set,” said second-year stage crew advisor, Mr. Michael Repasy.

Each crew has a specific responsibility throughout the process of production. The prop crew is responsible for props while the costume crews is responsible for the costumes throughout production. The responsibility of the tech crew is to control all the technical aspects of the play including, lights, microphones, and other systems of technology. Also, the stage crew has the responsibility of designing and making the sets among other responsibilities.

“During the production of the show the stage crew then becomes the run crew. The run crew moves all the scenery during the play, under the direction of the director as well as the stage manager. The students learn various running techniques, organization, and timing. Immediately after the show it is the stage crew’s responsibility to take the set apart,” Repasy said.

The plays and musicals hosted throughout the years at WTHS involve various parts to make the production successful. Those parts include the stage crew, tech crew, prop crew, and costume crew. So the next time you are at show, do not only applaud for the actors on stage but also the many students who work hard behind the scenes.