Student Designers

Danny working on the Clock he designed for "Around the World in 80 Days
Danny working on the Clock he designed for “Around the World in 80 Days

This year has be a year of firsts for the HHS theatre department and it’s quite exciting.  This past fall I didn’t design the set for our two fall shows.

For the past 4 years I come to the first rehearsal with a set design, I spend hours at home editing music and sound effects and then one long Saturday night I lock myself in the light booth recording the 200+ cues for a show.  This fall I stopped.  For our One Act show, Around the World in 80 Days when stage crew asked what the set looked like, I said, “I don’t know,” and handed them the scripts.  Wayne worked with our 5 crew members on the design of the set.  They owned everything they created, from the clock to the elephant.  Erin Meskimen (’16) found, recorded and edited all the songs and sound effects, Derek Fisher (’15) created all the video projections and Nathan Hunt (’15)  designed the light cues… his favorite color is yellow.

For the fall show Alice in Wonderland, my Tech Theatre classes designed and built half of the sets for the show while Stage Crew built the other half.  Things have been pretty amazing!

Tessa working with our Cognito board as she writes the light cues
Tessa working with our Cognito board as she writes the light cues

For our spring show, Arabian Nights I once again took a back seat for the lighting and sound design.  Nicole Platz (’17) and Erin Meskimen (’16)  found, recorded and edited all the music and sound for the show while Nathan Hunt programed the light board.  But for the first time ever, Wayne and myself did not spend Prom and Post-Prom sitting in the light booth writing all the cues.  It’s an age old tradition that started before I was even a student at HHS.  This year it didn’t happen.  Why?  Tessa O’Connor (’17) was going to light design the show.  That and we are using our new Cognito board from the Black Box and Wayne and I do not know that board as well as Nathan and Tessa.  Nathan has spent the past month programming the board in our Theatre Production Seminar class and Tessa spent around 9 hours this weekend putting all the light cues in.  It’s strange to think I did not design the show… my first since arriving here as a student teacher.

Now that Nicole, Erin and Tessa have created for the shows, they cannot stop!  Just think of the years to come with Stage Crew not only building the sets and following Wayne and my orders, but giving out the orders!  Student designers will spill from the woodwork left and right!  Or at least I hope.  It’s so exciting watching them work and grow, learn and laugh… and glare at me.  Today, Sunday, I received plenty of glares from Nicole, Tessa and Wayne when asking to hang a light or change something.  But they love doing this and it’s exciting to watch them.  There is magic in stage crew.


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