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Stage Crew Members Are Essential to Theater Productions

Ainsley Yates
Stage crew members take on the responsiblity of being prepared for set changes and to have costume and props ready for theater productions.

Great Crossing High School offers many extracurricular activities to its students. One of these extracurriculars is theater. An aspect of theater that many forget about is stage crew; however, it is very essential. For each play and musical performed, there are many individuals behind the scenes sorting out details to make every show as successful as it can be. 

Stage crew member, sophomore Ellen Zambrano, has had many experiences with being backstage having been in GCHS’ss productions of Mean Girls and Dracula along with working with United Talent’s production of Cinderella and Youth Theater of the Bluegrass’s production of James and the Giant Peach. Their wide range of experience and participation has landed them a spot as a training manager for future productions. 

During their time on crew, Zambrano has learned many different reasons why crew is essential to drama. Zambrano explained, “Stage crew is a crucial part of keeping shows working. Without crew, the show would not go on. Lighting and sound keep the audience engaged. Backstage crew keeps the props and sets moving to tell the story.” 

Stage crew are the ones who keep the show going smoothly. From helping with quick changes to making sure props get run over to the other side of the stage to managing students talking backstage, our crew does it all!

— Hannah Clea, director

Crew members also help lighten the mental load of actors. “Crew helps the show to flow together. Without them, the cast would have to memorize where to move sets AND their lines.. We take away that stress and divide the work to help things run smoothly,” said Zambrano.

Being a part of crew can teach students many lessons, not just revolving around acting and stage presence, but leadership skills as well. “The time I have spent has really helped me learn skills like teamwork and communication,” said Zambrano. “This is preparing me for my future in the workforce.”

Senior stage right manager Ainsley Yates has spent the past couple of years watching fellow drama students grow in the environment. “Sharing the experience of stage crew with others who love it just as much as I do fosters a sense of community, and some of my favorite memories are those that I’ve made backstage,” said Yates.

“Joining my sophomore year allowed me to make friends early and then see them build their skills and grow as people over the years. Some of my closest friends are actors and tech crew as well, showing that the friendships formed go beyond roles in productions,” Yates said. 

Stage crew, while an enjoyable activity, requires commitment. Hours can be long since the crew is needed for all performances and most rehearsals. Crew members also are often an important part of set design as well.

“A crew member usually attends full rehearsals, tech week, and shows. They receive cues from their respective stage manager and are expected to have them memorized before tech week. During shows, they manage their list of props, cues, set pieces, and quick changes. In their down time, they can prepare for their next cue or simply relax and interact with other crew members and actors,” Yates described. 

However, the hard work doesn’t end there as there are crucial elements that need to be implemented so there are no errors. “I stick to following my script to ensure actors and crew are able to hit their marks, I work to solve problems when they arise, and I communicate with the other managers to make sure things run smoothly,” commented Yates.

Having the ability to remain calm is also an important characteristic to have for a crew member.  Yates said, “Even the smallest inconvenience can seem daunting, but with the right perspective, issues can be solved quickly and efficiently. For example, during the most recent show, a member accidentally broke a prop that had to go onstage again in the near future.”

Yates continued, “Without panicking, I informed my fellow stage manager and my crew of the situation before the prop went out for its next scene. Due to effective communication and task delegation, the prop went on stage as planned. After we resolved the issue, I praised my team for their performance and reinforced a positive stage crew environment.”

Crew is an environment that can result in many benefits and skills. Senior Milo Ford, who has been a part of stage crew since her junior year, said, “The different opportunities that crew members can participate in are very diverse and it allows anyone to find something that works well with them in stage crew, like with make-up and tech.”

“Being in the crew has taught me a variety of different skills. I learned more about painting and woodwork, but most importantly, it taught me how to be more social and not be afraid of showing people who I am,” Ford continued. 

Crew is a welcoming place for every student where anybody will always be included. Many long-lasting friendships can be formed during everyone’s time together. “I have made many amazing friends with both the cast and the crew. You definitely make a second family when you do stuff like this,” said Ford. 

There is always a sense of success after each show. Actors and crew members get to hold pride in their hard work. One of the two drama directors/producers, Ms. Hannah Clea, director for GCHS’s theater productions, highlighted some reasons as to why crew should be able to celebrate their work, “Stage crew are the ones who keep the show going smoothly. From helping with quick changes to making sure props get run over to the other side of the stage to managing students talking backstage, our crew does it all!” Students can even be rewarded with the option to have flowers purchased for them by family or loved ones. 

Being a part of the stage crew is a challenging yet fun experience to hold. “We are always looking for more people to join our stage crew. You become a lovely part of this community, spending time with others who value the arts and want to be part of something beautiful and exciting,” Clea stated.

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About the Contributor
Kendra Brewer
Kendra Brewer, Staff Reporter
Kendra Brewer is a senior at Great Crossing High school, and this is her second year reporting for The Crossing Chronicle. Kendra enjoys films and writing to pass time. She will be attending the University of Kentucky in the fall to major in Media Arts!

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