The Battle Backstage

Students work behind the scenes to produce “Murder By Poe”

The Theatre Department worked to create a retelling of “Murder” By Poe last month, and have shared how they achieved this task in such little time. The Marcus Theatre Department was able to show this production September 15-18 in the blackbox theatre, thanks to the countless hours put in by not only the teachers but the students as well.

Stage manager Isaac Ludlam said a lot of people don’t know what Technical Theatre does besides building some sets, but there is much more that he and other students accomplish.

“Getting that awareness just makes the people who do this work feel a lot more appreciated about what they do,” Ludlam said.

Ludlam said he wants to bring more light on what he, as a stage manager, and his peers do for this production. Ludlam’s job is to take down the movements of actors and make sure all of the separate tech departments stay on task

“It’s a big role,” Ludlam said. “It really helps keep the show moving as smoothly as possible.”

Sound designer Casey McNatt said they wished more people would understand what it is they did as a sound designer. 

“Because you hear [the sound] but you don’t know where it comes from,” Mcnatt said “I’m the sound designer and sound board opp. so whenever there’s a sound in the show, if there’s ambiance or anything else, I’m the one who found that sound and [played] it during the show.”

The tech designers and crew have been working to create this production since the very first day of school, creating and changing things to better fit what every other crew is doing.

“Honestly with tech it’s having to change things on your feet,” McNatt said “Even if it’s a big change like with Jordan with her costumes.”

While most of the costumes used in “Murder” were existing ones that Marcus owns, altered and fixed, costume designer Jordan Thomson has worked to make sure each costume fit, and matched the theme. 

“Basically I need to know everything about the characters to properly costume them to help translate who their characters are to the audience besides just the words that they speak,” Thompson said. 

Tech theatre takes time and work to make sure everything looks acceptable, even going as far as staying until 7 p.m. the week before the production. Thompson said knowing what everyone does can help you respect the work that they do. 

It’s good to have awareness of what other people do so that there’s more understanding and not just ‘oh they’re the costume people, I don’t know what they do but they get us clothes that’s cool.’” Thompson said.  

Tech director Benjamin Brooks, leads his crew in this production to create a show for the audience. To the technical crew, being behind those curtains are just as important as being in the center of the stage.

“For every actor on stage there’s about three people backstage making sure that the show runs smoothly and everyone’s safe,” Brooks said.