By Roisin Mooney ‘22
The smell of wood dust, rusty paint cans, singing Hamilton on stage, the relief of the curtain closing during the last show are some things that remind crew members of technical theatre. You can see how people involved have an appreciation for what they are apart of.
Senior Alex Oakes is a paint crew co-manager and a crew veteran that has been doing technical theatre since her freshman year. Throughout those years she has undergone exhaustion, stress and self growth, that made her who she is today. Her experience as an artist has translated to the stage that helps the audience get lost in a story.
Oakes had always been interested in theatre since her eighth grade production and she used her talents to help with the play “Cyrano de Bergerac”, which eventually got her interested in paint and set design. She also she has experience as a spotlight operator and a build crew member.
For a teenager in this world today, theatre can provide an outlet to be creative, meet different types of people, and to create something that creates a lasting impact. There are also memories that people will keep with them throughout their lives. h
“I remember during Beauty and the Beast we had those big gymnast pads that people used to pretend they were falling off of a building,” Oakes remembers. “So we took two of them into the scene shop and we jumped onto them from the loft where we keep the extra sets. It was totally fine because the distance wasn’t too big and the pad was pretty thick and tall, so like it was fine but we still jumped off. It was so fun. Then Mr. Carroll came in and he just accepted it.”
Although there are many great parts to doing technical theatre there are some times that people are worried about not making the deadline for a show. Sister Act was the most stressful musical that Oakes had done, especially then going to main stage.
“I stayed here for half a day during classes just to finish painting. Along with two other people to make sure everything got done for ThesCon,” Oakes said.
A hard thing about crew is feeling less appreciated than cast. “The actors do appreciate us, especially from an outsiders point of view,” Oakes said. “The whole point is for the background to just meld into their idea of the story. So the audience puts that behind them, they never really look at or appreciate the things that happen behind the scenes.”
At the heart of all the shows is the teamwork between cast and crew, to help each team succeed. It’s hard to move on from Regis productions because you meet people you will cherish forever and have experiences you will look back on fondly.
“I think I’m going to miss the carefreeness of it all. Because once you go to college, sure you have fun, you may go to parties and stuff. But there’s just something about being a teenager in high school and knowing that you do have stuff coming.”
Even though being blinded by a spotlight and getting splinters are uncomfortable, everyone has something to learn from being a part of a team.
“You’re just holding onto that sliver of a kid. So I’m going to miss having fun with friends and just goofing off,” Oakes says.
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