Lights, Props, Action: Students perform background work for fall musical


Jamie Weiss

Behind the scenes of the musical “Oklahoma!,” junior Evie McBride manages the lighting system. This musical marks her seventh production as the lighting designer. “As the lighting designer, it gets a little stressful when things you have programmed do not go the way you planned,” McBride said. “Overall, though, it is a really good experience.”

Jamie Weiss, Staff Writer

The lights brightened and the curtains shifted which revealed a stage decorated to look like a farm, complete with fences and a butter churn. A hush fell on the crowd as the cast began to perform. Behind the scenes, the tech crew dashed around making sure the show ran smoothly.

To make a show authentic, the crew worked for weeks before the performance, starting in October. The jobs of crew members included designing the set, organizing props and costumes and running the lights and sound. For junior Evie McBride, “Oklahoma” marks the seventh show she has led the lighting design.

“As the lighting designer, it gets a little stressful when things you have programmed do not go the way you planned,” McBride said. “Overall, though, it is a really good experience.”

Before the first performance of the show, students helped create costumes, props and the set. Senior Aniston Faul undertook a mix of pulling the curtain and arranging the prop table.

“It is my senior year, and I felt I wanted to try something new and theater is something I had never done before,” Faul said. “I figured that this would be a good place to start.” 

During the show, the crew ran the lights, sound and put on actors’ hair and makeup. Freshman Spencer Moxley, part of the sound crew, operated the microphones and sound effects.

  “It is calming and stressful at the same time,” Moxley said. “Just make sure you have all the cues memoized. It is really fun getting to see how crazy everything is.” 

While the job can be difficult, Faul said that the cast and crew created a positive environment. 

“All the new people that I have met are so sweet and welcoming, and I love being able to say ‘hi’ and everyone says it back,” Faul said. “I admire the people on stage because they are all doing such a good job and the dances are fun to watch.”

As the show drew near, scheduled tech days allowed the cast and crew to put all of the different parts of the show together and see what each group had been working on. This included all the lines, singing and dancing. 

Moxley said he enjoys watching the scene where Carnes, the father of Ado Annie, is insistent on Ali Hakim proposing to her, encouraging him with a shotgun.    

“My favorite line is when Carnes says that he is going to shoot Ali Hakim and fill his behind so full of lead that he will be walking around like a duck for the rest of his life,” Moxley said. “It is really funny.”  

According to McBride, being a part of the crew allows students to learn new skills and abilities. 

“When you are in this position, you really have to be able to go with the flow and take care of anything that comes at you,” McBride said.