Actors Are Not the Only Stars of the Show

Sophomore+Jamie+Thornton+adjusts+a+light+on+set.+The+theater+department+is+currently+working+on+Shakespeare%27s+Midsummer+Night%27s+Dream.

Kaylee Rodriquez

Sophomore Jamie Thornton adjusts a light on set. The theater department is currently working on Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.

Kaylee Rodriquez

The stage is set, the lights go up and the opening song begins. The cast and crew give their all to put on the perfect performance and keep everything going smoothly. Behind these performances is an extensive amount of time and preparation, both on and off stage.

While people may only see the actors during a show, there is a lot more going on backstage than what meets the eye.

“Crew is vital,” director Taylor Jarman said. “If you don’t have crew, then you don’t have costume, set, lights [or] sound. You have some actors standing in a dark room, so we have to have techs who know how to turn lights on and off and how to fix problems as they come up.”

Behind every director, there is a stage manager keeping everyone in line. The stage manager for the theatre department, senior Sydney Smith, takes care of all of the organization and planning for each production.

“My job entails taking roll, making sheets and making forms,” Smith said. “I’m in charge of all of the organization,  of keeping track of backstage,  of managing the crew and actors, [and] I’m in charge of calling the show and everything that entails.”

If you don’t have crew, then you don’t have costume, set, lights [or] sound. You have some actors standing in a dark room.”

— Taylor Jarman

Each production typically requires a lot of backstage help. This can include light crew, sound crew and specific crew members for costumes, props, makeup and set.

“With being a techie, you have a lot of responsibilities,” sophomore crew member Kaylea Clay said. “You have to make sure that the lights are perfect, that the sound is perfect, that all the props are where they need to be and that the actors know where their props are. You have to make sure that the set is safe, and you have to reset everything.”

When being involved in a production, there is more than just technical behind the scenes requirements. Every cast and crew member has a personal purpose for being there, each of which requires not only the character they play, but the character inside them as well.

“My goal is that through teaching theater classes, these students get a better aspect and grasp on who they are and who they can be apart from this school, and let them grow in a creative aspect of building a character or coming up with a really cool set design that’s never been seen before,” Jarman said. “All and all, allowing the opportunity for students to put that creativity and themselves into one big goal of putting forth a play.”

Every time he puts on a show, Jarman not only focuses on building sets and developing characters, but he hopes to make the stage a place where students feel comfortable in being who they want to be. The new school year brings new students like freshman Allie Somes, who joined the program looking for a place to fully be herself.

“Theater means so much to me. It shows me that I can be whoever I want to be,” Somes said. “It is just an outlet for me express myself and be who I want to be instead of what society says I should be.”