Behind the front desk at the ‘Grand Hotel’

From wigs to sound, from lights to scullery worker cages, tech crew has been working tirelessly to get the spring musical ready for Thursday's opening night

By Lily Brode and Ella Rosenblatt

With the final dress rehearsal set for tomorrow and opening night for Thursday, it seems to us a perfect time to use our #TuesdayTop10 to take you behind the scenes of Grand Hotel for a sneak peak of how the hotel is being readied to open its doors on Thursday.

HAIR STRAIGHTENERS: Only two weeks before the show, actors and tech crew spend MLK Day at school working on preparing Grand Hotel for the public. Sophia Lindsey-Boeck is a sophomore and the head of hair and makeup for the show. She and the rest of the costumes crew were working on styling wigs to fit the ’20s style. “The thing about fixing wigs is it’s a process,” she said, “but I always get it done.” Photo and caption by Lily Brode.

SCULLERY SKILLS: Senior Dexter Murphy works on assembling the scullery worker cages backstage. “The scullery worker cages were very fun to put together, even though it was a very simple task,” Murphy saids. “It’s really cool to see something that you built being used onstage.” This is Murphy’s ninth show at McCallum. Photo Lily Brode, caption by Ella Rosenblatt.

SOUND PRACTICE: While freshman Margaret Hearne (foreground) labels mics during rehearsal, Anna Fox (background) sorts transmitters, the boxes that give a signal to the board help the sound technicians give the mics sound. Speaking of sounding off, Fox gave a glowing appraisal of her experience working on the tech crew for Grand Hotel. “The crew has been lovely,” Fox said. “Everyone is very nice and the work is incredibly fulfilling; its tiring, but its also wonderful to feel as though im a part of something” Photo and caption by Ella Rosenblatt.

SHOPPING FOR THE SHOW: For the past two months, students in Grand Hotel have been working day in and day out on the show. During that time, the costumes crew did many things including going to three separate stores in order to find one costume piece. Junior Abby Baldwin (left) is a junior and the head of costumes and sophomore Sophia Lindsey-Boeck (right) is the head of hair and makeup. “It was one of those moments that just proves how much fun work can be,” Baldwin said. Photo and caption by Lily Brode.

ELECTRIC COMPANY: Master electrician Mackenzie Craig moves and aims lights on the second electric. “I haven’t seen a full run-through of the show just yet, but I’ve seen all the hard work both the cast and crew put into the show so I have no doubt in my mind that it will be anything less than amazing.” Photo and caption by Ella Rosenblatt.

POW!! Grand Hotel has certainly been a memorable experience for all the actors and crew members involved, but it will also be for all the audience members who come to see it. During a 12-hour rehearsal, while most people were on stage or out in the audience, junior Abby Baldwin was busy working on the confetti machine. “We were asked to figure out how this confetti cannon that goes off at the end of the show works,” she said. “I was plugging in the cord that would connect it to the wall to give it its power.” Photo and caption by Lily Brode.

SPRAY, STYLE. REPEAT. Sophomore Evangeline Horton is hard at work helping style wigs for Grand Hotel. With less than a week until opening night, all that’s left to do is the final touches and watch the show come to life. “This is my first time doing tech on a show here,” Horton said, “and although costumes has been a very stressful process, I’ve really enjoyed it.” Photo and caption by Lily Brode.

WORK IN PROGRESS: After hanging the Grand Hotel sign, the crew works on assembling the 12 columns that weave throughout the stage. Photo and caption by Ella Rosenblatt.

EXCITEMENT, CONFUSION AND EXHAUSTION: Those are the three phases of fixing a wing. Junior Abby Baldwin. sophomore Sophia Lindsey-Brock, and sophomore Evangeline Horton spend their MLK Jr. Day working on building the set for Grand Hotel and fixing wigs so actors are able to wear them for the shows. “Today we did wigs” Horton said, “which was an interesting process.” Photo and caption by Lily Brode.

THE YELLOW WALLPAPER: Margaret Hearne holds up wallpaper that the crew will be hanging in the hotel. “I’ve really liked the experience so far,” Hearne said of her experience working to build the Grand Hotel. “Even though it’s a big-time commitment, I feel like I’ve learned a lot from it.” Even though Margaret is on the sound crew, she has also helped out the scenic crew throughout the show. When asked if she was going to stay on sound crew for future shows, Hearne said, “I think I might try being on a different crew for the next show, so I can figure out what my favorite thing to do is.” Photo and caption by Ella Rosenblatt.

This story was originally published on The Shield Online on January 28, 2020.