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A Look Inside The Tech Crew Of Mean Girls

Tech Crew Is A Staple In Every Play
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Hannah Bruce
The props crew work on a piece for the play. Left to right: Scarlett Peters (10th), Faith Clark (10th), Ariana Ortalejo Parra (10th).

With Verrado High’s Mean Girls musical’s opening night arriving fast, the cast is working hard to memorize lines, perfect choreography, and rehearse for hours on end. While everyone knows about the importance of the actors on stage, what about what goes on behind the scenes?

Tech crew is a staple in every play put on no matter where it may be. The sets, lighting, sound, etc. all play an important part in really tying together the feel of the performance and giving the audience a genuine portrayal of what is going on in the production. These roles make the viewers feel something without any words needing to be spoken.

Although not all people may realize it, there are a lot of different jobs each group of tech crew is in charge of. Mean Girl’s tech crew is working hard on all sorts of projects, so here is a quick look at what exactly it is that tech crew does and why it is so important.

Starting with the lighting crew, they are in charge of all sorts of things such as the colors, spotlight, and transitions. Lighting has a large contribution to the mood of each scene. Certain color schemes and combinations can make you feel happy and joyful, while others can make you nervous and uneasy. Lighting also assists in bringing the audience’s attention to the actors on stage and making transitions appear smooth.

Sophomore Cierra Robertson is in charge of working the spotlight up in the lighting booth during performances. Cierra says the most important part of the spotlight is it “can help with the audience’s attention, so spotlighting characters, while they are having a key/important musical number/speech, will help the audience know this part is important”.

She also says, “My favorite part of lighting is being in the spotlight booth. I like having the area to myself, and being alone helps me focus better while spotlighting”.

While there are many fun parts about being in this crew department, it does come with its challenges. For example, Cierra says, “The most difficult part of spotlighting is moving the spotlight. I have to move it very slowly since it is fragile, and it sometimes takes a while to angle it how I want it to be”.

Despite the difficulties that may take place in this part of the tech crew, lighting still pulls it off and helps the production look astounding.

Junior Clara Talker works hard as stage manager, especially when it comes to building and painting the set! (Hannah Bruce)

Next is the props crew who plays a vital role in making sure the scenes come together. They are in charge of planning out and creating all the different props that will be used in the show. Without them, the actors wouldn’t have anything to interact with. Sophomores Ariana Ortalejo Parra, Faith Clark, and Scarlett Peters have been in charge of props for the Mean Girls production.

When asked why their job is important Ariana Ortalejo Parra said, “Without us creating props, the actors would just be gesturing for everything, which doesn’t make for a very interesting show. The props add a lot to the performance, and help with storytelling aspects.” This crew is extremely hardworking, as of right now they are currently creating cardboard animals that will be used in many different scenes in Mean Girls.

They were also asked what the most difficult part of their job is, Scarlett Peters added “I’d say getting the list down of all the props that are actually in the show is pretty time-consuming.”
Lastly, when the team was asked what their favorite part of their job was they said, “The people in our group are very fun to work with, and we collaborate well to get the job done.”

Whether it’s hand-making something from scratch or gathering the needed items, props play a very crucial role behind the scenes of any production at this school.

Blaze Bravo (11th) promotes the upcoming play as part of their job in the marketing crew. (Hannah Bruce)

Another group in the tech crew is costumes. This section is in charge of clothing for all of the actors. For the actors to look as accurate as possible to the characters they are playing, the costume crew puts together all of their outfits.

Sophomore Jaxton Westover is the costume assistant manager. When asked what his favorite part about his job is he stated, “The creativity that comes along with it is probably the most enjoyable part, there’s a lot of possibilities when it comes to putting together costumes, which is fun.”

While costumes may seem like a simple job, it does come with its struggles. Jax says, “Networking is very hard, and getting the clothing can be difficult because we are very limited on what we already have in the costume room.” Despite the problems that may arise they always manage to put together great costumes for the actors to perform in.

Finally, and most importantly Jax was asked why he believes his job is important, he says “We give the show pizzazz so the actors don’t walk onto the stage in basic clothing. The audience pays attention to see if their outfits are accurate so that puts pressure on us to make the outfits detailed and accurate.”

The costume crew will always play an important role in making sure the actors look their best when performing.

In addition to all of these crews, another group that contributes to the behind-the-scenes is marketing and advertising. This job is incredibly important because, simply, no one would know about the production or the information such as time and place!

Blaze Bravo, junior, is a part of this group and says, “The hardest part of being in marketing/advertising is not having as many people to work with in my section.”

When asked why they think their job is important, they responded, “We advertise the show and are the reason people come.”

This crew advertises the production through social media, flyers, and just shouting from the rooftops. An audience in general wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for this part of the tech crew existing.

Blaze also states, “My favorite part of this crew is getting to be creative. I’ve always loved being creative and the art aspect.”

People who are a part of marketing/advertising have the opportunity to put their imagination and creativity to the test to attract larger audiences to the productions.

Build crew is another important group to mention when talking about tech crew. The build crew is responsible for planning, building, designing, and painting all of the large set pieces. Without their contributions, the stage would be empty during performances. Their sets help with storytelling by providing visuals for the audience to look at.

Costume assistant manager Jax Westover (10th) is excited to be working on this production as both an actor (Coach Carr) and a crew member! (Hannah Bruce)

Junior Clara Talker has been stage manager for 2 years now. She is head in charge when it comes to anything build crew-related. Whether it’s designing sets, using heavier equipment, or even just leading the team, she helps with all of it.

There’s no doubt that the build crew works extremely hard, with most of their job being manual labor. When asked what the hardest part of being a stage manager is she says, “It’s probably
designing the set and also getting p.o.s in because that’s scary, but it’s designing and getting materials on how to make the design because that can be hard.”

Clara also states, “My favorite part of being on the building crew is probably the fulfilling feeling when we perform it because it’s very rewarding seeing our sets come together on stage and watching the actors interact with them.”

Building a crew is one of the most crucial parts of making a production come to life. Clara adds, “Our crew is important because we make the sets, and that is very important for telling the story throughout the musical.”

Build Crew is the perfect group for any artistic person who wants a hands-on project. This crew has been working extremely hard to create sets for the upcoming Mean Girls musical this December.

Clara Talker, Stage Manager of Mean Girls, cutting wood for the set. (Gabriella Comer)

Finally, the sound crew is a vital addition to the behind-the-scenes of productions. Sounds make the performance feel more real. The audience can recognize sounds they have heard before in their life and make the connection to what is happening in the production.

Sound can be a very difficult job, especially when it comes to timing. Members of this section of the tech crew have to play sounds or songs at the exact moment it is needed. Otherwise, if the timing is wrong it can throw off the audience or even confuse them.

Sound makes up a lot of what a show is, especially in musicals. It would be a little odd to watch a musical without music in the background as this is the norm and is incredibly important to include.

Without us creating props, the actors would just be gesturing for everything, which doesn’t make for a very interesting show. The props add a lot to the performance, and help with storytelling aspects.

— Ortalejo Parra

This crew is in charge of a variety of jobs that people may not even notice because they are so focused on the actors as well as what is going on in the show. The sound is a staple in all productions, therefore it isn’t the first thing people would pay attention to.

Although the actors on stage are major in making sure a play is successful, there is a whole lot more that goes into shows.

At Verrado, lots of hard work and determination are given by the tech crew as they stay after school for hours on end. When the opening night starts approaching, the crew has a “tech week” (or even weeks) where they run through the entire production, moving sets on and off the stage, practicing lighting and sound at the appropriate times, etc. It is incredibly draining and difficult, but the crew is dedicated to making sure the show runs smoothly.

Buy tickets to Mean Girls–on sale in the bookstore now and see the magic that happens because of the tech crew.

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About the Contributors
Aria Anderson, Staff Writer
Ever since Aria Anderson was little, words have always had a grasp on her. Whether it’s reading, writing, music, or just listening to someone speak, she continues to be inspired.  Her other interests include skateboarding, drawing, baking, and watching movies, as well as a serious addiction to making bracelets. She has a huge love for all things music. Just a few examples of artists she adores include Ricky Montgomery, Declan McKenna, Clairo, Conan Gray, Wallows, Dayglow, Yungblud, One Direction and so much more! On top of that, she has been playing piano for 9 years.  She has many goals and aspirations, some being: going to 1000 concerts by the day she dies and becoming a high school teacher. She also hopes to create a successful Webtoon someday!  Aria is very passionate about books, too. Comics or chapter books, she enjoys getting cozy in a soft blanket and drinking hot chocolate while reading a good book. Books she’d absolutely recommend would be Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli and One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. She also loves Webtoons like Jackson’s Diary and Heartstopper. Her happy place is the library, where she likes to relax while doing work or reading.  Another fun fact about Aria is she loves being involved with the backstage work in theater. She is the secretary in Stagecraft II, and has been on the build/paint crew for school productions since she got to high school! It has always been an interest of hers but wasn’t possible until she got to Verrado High due to her past schools not having theater at all.  Aria loves trying new things and is very open-minded when it comes to working with something unfamiliar. She’s always been interested in journalism, but what really made her want to explore that interest, even more, was Betty and Jughead from Riverdale when they worked on The Blue and Gold! 
Hannah Bruce, Staff Writer
Although she was born in New Jersey, Hannah Bruce has been as close to an Arizona Native as she can get. She is a collector of hobbies, always finding something new to dive into. She spends her free time listening to music, drawing, and reading comic books. She is willing to try out anything that will take up some of her free time. While not a big fan of school, Hannah has always taken a large interest in the subject of art. She plans to become a High school art teacher once she finishes studying in college. Anything artistic has always been a passion of hers, especially consuming media made by other artists.  She spends her free time reading different comic books and graphic novels, anything with cartoons she will love. Another interest of hers is playing video games. She loves any Resident Evil game and is very enthusiastic about The Legend Of Zelda. She is currently in the middle of playing Resident Evil 4, which she is enjoying.  Another thing she cannot be pulled away from is music. Whether she's working on school work, drawing, or playing a game, she will have music playing. Some of her favorite artists include Weezer, One Direction, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Slipknot, korn, and Laufey. She is a lover of all genres with a playlist of her favorite songs that is over 102 hours long. She's always willing to listen to a new song. She is also very into random media, being able to talk about them for hours. Her all-time favorite being Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. She's been a fan of writing since she was in second grade, spending most of her time writing stories and making comics in her wide-ruled notebooks.  She enjoys hanging out with her friends whenever she has the chance and used to own a pet tortoise named George. She is a quiet person but is always willing to try something new, in this case, it is journalism.  

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