Stage Crew Silently Brings Theatre To Life

Leah+Shwemmer+performs+as+Plankton+during+SpongeBob+the+Musical

Spencer Baese

Leah Shwemmer performs as Plankton during SpongeBob the Musical

Luca DiGregorio, Rambler Staff Writer

Imagine the curtain rises on Broadway, but there’s no set. The spotlights don’t appear, props are imaginary, and the stage is merely a platform for people to recite long soliloquies.

Theatre would have died out a long time ago if this was the case.

Luckily for theatre fans worldwide, there is a secret hero that protects everyone from such evils. A hero that lives in the shadows, out of the spotlight.

Invisible.

That hero is Stage Crew. And Highland’s stage crew takes great pride in its performance.

Stage Crew’s purpose is to build all the sets and run all the backstage components of almost everything that goes on Highland’s stage. From musicals to band concerts, they run it all. They use their own little workshop behind the stage to build all the major set pieces. They also run lights, microphones, and anything else that’s technical. The only catch is that they’re invisible. Otherwise, they aren’t doing their jobs.

Or as Trin Martin, a junior at Highland, said: “It’s kind of the point of the job: to not be noticed.”

Stage Crew is a group of highly motivated people that become a tight-knit community through shared frustrations. From long hours to intense manual labor, they are given the jobs that no one else wants.

“[Stage Crew is] a class where I get to be around people who get me,” Isaac Jensen, a sophomore at Highland, said. “[People] who have similar interests and ambitions as me.”

Stage Crew is also amazing for any new student coming to Highland who wants to find something that will help them adjust to a new school.

“It’s kinda helped me fit in,” Mason West, a new freshmen, said.

Hannah Brennen, the person who ran all the microphones during SpongeBob the Musical, said that they were working on the set of SpongeBob “from the start of school until SpongeBob came on.”

That’s roughly three months of working every other day. Long after other students went home, they were working with limited resources to create an entire set.

But all the work paid off on opening night when the curtains rose, and a beautiful set was unveiled to the world. Made from plenty of recycled materials, they built a set that amplified the powerful messages the SpongeBob delivered.

Sebastien Green, who played Squidward in SpongeBob the Musical, has emphasized Stage Crew’s role in turning SpongeBob into the magic that it was.

“[Stage Crew is] a community that really forms the backbone of the theatre department at Highland,” Green said. “It’s really integral to the whole process [of putting on a show].”

Without Stage Crew, the performances that make Highland special wouldn’t be special. They’d be boring, lifeless. But as with so many things in life, the people who make life interesting are hidden from view.

Invisible. Unseen. This leads to Stage Crew receiving little-to-no attention.

“During bows, you won’t know this unless you’re in theatre,” Lincoln Zitting, a senior at Highland, said, “but all the actors will raise their hand up, and that’s to point at the light booth, and that is a gesture to Stage Crew.”

But the lack of attention doesn’t dissuade the committed group. They know that when they do¬† a good job, the production will shine. Even if no one in the audience knows of them, there wouldn’t be an audience without them.

“The worth is in the sheen,” Eyrie Gant, a stage crew veteran, said.

Stage Crew is a close community that’s built for everyone who isn’t afraid of hard work.

“It gives me something to care about,” Jensen said. “It makes me want to stay after school and keep working.”