In the Wings

Over 57 technical theatre students collaborated to manage sound, lights, sets, and the backstage production of “Pippin”

By Aiden Velez, Dreyfoos School of the Arts

For every performance audiences watch onstage, there is another happening above, below, to the sides, and behind it. Technical theatre students operate a network of light and sound systems, raise and lower set pieces, and coordinate costume changes throughout the productions.

The photos below will depict the aspects of the performance that the audience typically can’t see.

Photos taken behind the scenes at the in-school performance of “Pippin” on March 2 show the work of technical crew members during the performance.

Theatre senior Mason Materdomini stands in the wings, waiting to go onstage during the theatre department’s in-school performance of the first act of “Pippin” on March 2.
(Aiden Velez)
Piano senior Joshua Lumaban plays the keyboard during the “Pippin” dress rehearsal before the in-school performance. Several band students played a live score in the pit.
(Aiden Velez)
Materdomini, who plays Pippin, applies his makeup in the dressing room before the show starts.
(Aiden Velez)
Sitting in the wings, assistant stage manager and theatre junior Chloe Willer checks the show’s cue sheets. “I love being a part of the process from the beginning,” Willer said. “I’ve watched the show get cast and watch everyone grow into their roles and see the show become what it has become, and it’s just an amazing thing.” (Aiden Velez)
Pulling ropes, band junior Ryan Brown (right) raises and lowers set pieces during “Pippin.” “You build up a sense of camaraderie with all the people working back there, and it’s just fun to be able to contribute to putting on this show that everyone can enjoy,” Brown said. “Just seeing how a lot of the work you do adds up on stage and how the audience enjoys it. It’s just really fun and rewarding.” (Aiden Velez)
Standing in the back of the theater, theatre sophomore Amira Green operates the lighting system for “Pippin.” (Aiden Velez)
Working the soundboard, theatre freshman Kathryn Rivera adjusts the sound levels onstage. Rivera adjusts actors’ microphones continually through the performance to prevent feedback and overlap. (Aiden Velez)
Sitting in the booth above the theater, stage manager and theatre senior Devyn Humble gives instructions to other team members through her headset. “It’s a job that never stops just because everyone’s texting me, weekends, midnight, whenever, just asking questions,” Humble said. “It’s a whole bunch of ‘go, go, go,’ and it’s a nonstop job, which I think is the most difficult part, but it’s also the part that I love the most because then I just never leave.”
(Aiden Velez)
Standing in the catwalks above the theater, theatre junior Lucas Green operates the spotlights during the performance. “It’s cool being up in the (catwalks) and getting to work with the (spotlight) and learning all the blocking with the actors,” Green said. “It’s fun to feel like you’re in the show, but you’re behind and you get to make it happen.” (Aiden Velez)
Maneuvering the spotlight, theatre junior Emma Thron tracks actors onstage during a musical number. “It’s very exciting. There’s always a lot going on. You always have to be paying attention to what you’re doing,” Thorn said. “It’s really fun being able to see it all happen and you see it multiple times too, and by the end of it, you’re singing along to all the songs.” (Aiden Velez)

This story was originally published on The Muse on March 11, 2023.