Tech crew prepares the stage
Four days a week, the giant wooden frames that sit on Fairview’s stage swarm with activity. Students wield power drills, table saws, and hammers with practiced ease. Students screw fronting onto giant set pieces and carefully apply paint, and slowly, a small plywood world begins to take shape.
These pieces set the scenes for Fairview’s fall musical, the Elvis-inspired “All Shook Up.” The musical takes place in a small, idealistically American 50’s town. The major set pieces are the main street of the town, a gas station, and a jailhouse.
Fairview’s stage crew, officially called Sword Stone Productions, takes charge of building these pieces and moving them during performances, as well as designing and controlling lighting and sound for the production. The crew this year works under the supervision of Drew Keat, Fairview’s new acting and stagecraft teacher.
Keat applied to work in Fairview’s theater department after seeing last year’s production, “Les Miserables.” “It was an outstanding production,” he said, “and that was what made me know I wanted to work here.”
Stage crew this year is a smooth unit, working with efficiency despite the magnitude of the work they must complete. It isn’t without its road bumps, though.
“The biggest challenge we’ve faced has been making some changes along the way. We’ve had to alter the plans here and there, and sometimes that means some extra work,” said Keat. However, Sword Stone Productions is ready and willing to take on challenges wherever they arise. “The majority of the crew is really dedicated and interested in what they’re doing.”
In addition to the major construction necessary to prepare the show, the props section of the crew must create or find the wide variety of items that the actors of “All Shook Up” will use onstage. “We’re in charge of everything that goes on stage that isn’t a costume or a set piece,” said Anya Kolesnikoff, Fairview junior and head props person. Props this year include a real motorcycle and a jukebox.
Not only does stage crew do four builds a week, they have an intensive tech week directly preceding the musical. Tech week is primarily the time for the crew to learn how to get the sets moved to exactly where they need to be, exactly when they need to be there.
To see Sword Stone Productions in action, go see “All Shook Up” on November eighth through the thirteenth.