Front + Center: Theater 2012

Taylor Runion

As the house lights came on, stage lights turned off and actors from Bye Bye Birdie went to see their family and friends. Backstage was still bustling. Junior Claire MacLachlan had not rehearsed choreography or felt the audience’s stare, but she played a vital part of the musical as scene director.

“A lot of [being scene director] is communicating and making sure people know when rehearsals are, and knowing what they need to have prepared,” MacLachlan said. “I was also in charge of attendance so if you didn’t show up, you would probably get an angry text from me wondering where you were.”

Also in crew, was junior Dani Mader, who served as the stage manager. MacLachlan and Mader, as well as all who worked behind the scenes referred to themselves as ‘techies.’

“The techies can make or break a show because you have people who do the props and set, and without them, the show is really just a skeleton,” MacLachlan said. “It’s the difference between reading a book and seeing a movie.”

Some techies went into theater and only experienced backstage work, while others performed on and off stage. Mader tried out for the musical her freshman year and did not make the cast, but had a positive outlook on it.

“l would tell them thank you for not putting me in the show,” she said.

Techies behind-the-scene work often went unrecognized by the non-theater community, but this proved to be positive.

Our job is to make sure the show runs smoothly; a techie’s greatest compliment is non-recognition,” Mader said. “We don’t want you to see us or what we’re doing. If [we’re] a good techie, you shouldn’t notice what we’re doing.”