With January’s The Secret Garden performance came all the first night jitters that the HHS Drama Club has experienced many times before. The jitters always seem to turn into top performances, and the closing curtain brings appreciative applause. But how many times do we think about what goes on behind the scenes of a high school play?
Many people don’t know what goes on behind the curtain; before the play even begins. The days before opening night are hectic. But first thing first: the drama group needs to decide which play they are going to reenact. After this is decided, they have to visualize what the set is going to look like, which is very difficult and time-consuming.
Tina Glosser, who designs the set for all of the plays, then sketches out the stage and figures out where the set pieces have to go and how big they need to be. Next, they start building the set and props. It takes about four weeks to build the set. Once the set is built, the paint crew does their job and then it’s ready for rehearsal.
January’s play, The Secret Garden, was very tough on the crew because of Hurricane Sandy. They lost two weeks of building time that they had to make up during Christmas break. But the crew got it done in time and was very happy with the outcome. When asked how difficult it was to work around Hurricane Sandy, Tech Director, Mr. Michael Batche, who is in charge of the construction crew said, “Very. We had to delay everything. It was originally supposed to be in December and we had to move it to January. We had a lot of building to do.”
However, construction is not the only preparation that must be made leading up to the play. There’s a talented group of people that move the set around called the Running Crew. If it weren’t for this dedicated group of students, the play wouldn’t exist. Dressed in black, they may not be visible, but they are there, and sometimes they don’t get the recognition they deserve. Running Crew is just as important as the actors are because they are present at every practice and anytime they are needed to move objects around quickly.
Members of behind-the-scene crew are not only behind the curtain; you can also find them either controlling the spot light or the sound booth; light and music is needed to make the show a success. The Drama Club couldn’t function without all of these crews getting their jobs done. According to Batche, “Every single one of them is just as important as the actors.”