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Contributed Photo

Contributed Photo

FAIRY TALE ― Ryan Ezekiel and Janel Beatty take the stage in Elmira District Secondary School’s production of A Not So Fairy Tale.

More to drama production than what happens onstage

LINDSAY MEWHINEY, For the Independent

The EDSS drama department’s production of “A Not So Fairy Tale” took place from Dec. 6 – 8 at the school, and while all the glamour seemed to happen onstage, the show was about more than what audiences could see during the performance.

While actors were busy rehearsing their lines, members of the stage crew were also hard at work.

In preparation for the show, the stage crew met at the school every Wednesday and Sunday in the weeks leading up to the production to build and decorate sets, organize props, as well as prepare costumes and make-up for cast.

Crew were also responsible for ensuring that the show ran smoothly from a technical aspect.

In preparation for the show, lighting technician Victoria Frey explains that all the existing lights and wiring on the stage needed to be taken down, so that they could later be set up again to coordinate with the new sets and stage set-up.

Once sets were established, lights were re-positioned, and outfitted with gels and gobos.

“Gels are what you put into the lights to give them a certain colour, and gobos make designs in the lights,” says Frey.

Sound technician Noah Zenker was there to make sure that the lines that cast had worked so hard to memorize could be heard by audience members.

Zenker explains that during the show, he was responsible for managing the microphones and sound, ensuring that the correct microphones were turned on at the right times, and that these microphones weren’t giving any feedback, including several that were hidden in the ceiling and on the floor.  Zenker also controlled the volume of microphones and sound effects during the show, and was responsible for any last-minute sound issues or equipment failures.

“In one case, one of our actors lost her voice on the last show day, and I had to quickly set up another wireless lapel mic for her to wear,” says Zenker.

Despite the occasional technical difficulty, Zenker enjoys his work with the drama department.

“It’s a lot of work, but I absolutely love doing it,” he says.

In the busy days before opening night, both cast and crew were feverishly working to make sure that all the final details were in place.

But members of the drama production say that there is no rivalry between cast and crew.

“As far as rivalry or jealousy, there really isn’t any, because through our eyes, everyone is an equal.  If any of us were gone, we couldn’t do the show.” says crew member Brittney Simpell.

The work that happens both on stage and behind the scenes is essential for the production to be a success, and members of the production understand and appreciate this.

“The cast and crew need each other for things to be possible, ” says Simpell.

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