Sally Minseo Kim, News Writer
Behind all the bright lights and fancy costumes in a production there are people backstage who help make it all possible. Ranging from props, makeup, costumes, lights, stage, and more. It is the tech crew’s job to go unnoticed by the audience to maintain the integrity of the performance, but this often leaves those involved in the production crew feeling unappreciated.
When Director of ‘Snow White and the Prince’, Bekah Schneider was asked if she thought the production crew received enough credit she said, “Oh my gosh, never, I think that they are as important if not more important than anybody in the production.” She explained further and said, “I think most people don’t think that is a job and don’t appreciate it.”
Caelan Hodge, brother of Brendan Hodge who played Rupert the butler, commented, “I could see the fruits of the production crews labor,” but he did not necessarily see them working.
Mya Freeman, a seventh-grader was the Stage Manager. Her role included knowing all the music cues, writing down blocking, attending every rehearsal, preparing the props, helping with the tech and the list goes on.
Freeman decided to apply for the position because she wasn’t comfortable singing a solo but still wanted to “contribute” and be an “active” part of the musical. She said, “through being a Stage Manager, I would get to attend rehearsals and see the musical in the works. Just being part of that rehearsal part made me excited, so I was eager to fill the position.”
When asked what the hardest part about working backstage was she said, “working backstage in a leadership role.” We have “to get everything prepared for the big show day and we do not have very many days to prepare because mostly rehearsals are going on, not tech meetings.”
Akari Sakamoto, a sophomore has been part of the production crew for the musical since eighth-grade. She said that she did not feel appreciated. Akari aided in painting the set for the musical, and said it was “kind of unfair” that “actors got food after practice but we didn’t get any.”
In response to which students were served food, Bekah Schneider said, “any students who stayed until 9:00 P.M. were fed. This included the Running Crew, Tech Crew, and Makeup Crew on the nights they stayed.”
Sophomore Matthias Büsing who ran the spotlight said, “I don’t think we are appreciated a lot, because the actors get all the credit. He mentioned that it is only natural for the audience to look at the actors and not pay attention to who is running “the background music or lights.”
“I agree that the production crew is not always noticed during the production, but that does not mean they are not appreciated. It is not wrong to want to be appreciated for the work put into any job done, but I hope the students realize they are valued even if they did not receive affirmation. I know every single teacher in the Art Department appreciated these students for their service, because without them, this performance would not have been as successful,” said Kim Lozano, Head of the Art Department.
“We do more to appreciate and recognise our crews and help than many professional theatre companies…We do bows for light and tech crew and everyone in the audience got an applause, so we honour them with applause.” This is not common, mentioned Bekah Schneider, adding “you have to go back to why you are doing it, are you doing it for the praise of man or for the love of the craft, because I don’t do it for the praise of man, and if I did I wouldn’t be doing what I do.”
Immediately after the Friday night performance, Director of Curriculum Elizabeth Cho Tweeted out a picture of the sound booth and wrote, “The unsung Heroes! Lights and sound crew – without them, there’s no show!”
In order for people to be more aware of what goes on behind stage Bekah Schneider suggested for viewers to begin a dialogue with the crew. She also encouraged reflective thinking from the audience during the performance to see if they could notice other things happening to make the play possible beyond the actors.
With this year’s production there was extra work that went on behind the stage due to the props. Vaughn Schneider, who played “Dwarf #5”was also a Set Designer. He created special designs and worked with Jean-Loup Francois, the DT and ITGS teacher to create special effects.
Vaughn Schneider commented when brainstorming on how to make the stone of the Queen, “we were debating on different ways we can do it. We were going to have at one point the queen just fall through trap door.” They considered additional options, but found them to be too pricey and opted for foam board and paint.
The production of Snow White and the Prince was performed on Oct. 21 and 22. It was considered a success with more people coming to support the performance than ever before. “In my nine years at GSIS, It was a first for me to see a packed house. People had to sit in the wings and stand in the back. It was an incredible sight,” said Kim Lozano. People of all ages including students, staff, teachers, parents, and members from the local community attended the musical performance.