Tech Theatre: Starting Off on the Right Foot

4G7A4458Tech theatre is a class where every person has to be on his feet at a moment’s notice. In my case, I scooted into class the second week of school, ready for anything. When I signed up for Tech Theatre, I never expected to be in cast for most of the class. Luckily, one of the first units we did was the painting unit. As an avid art student, I was really excited to share my painting skills. In small groups, we had to stretch and paint a canvas. First, we had to cut the four sides of the canvas. I attempted to cut a piece of wood with a table saw on one foot. Since I did not lose any fingers, I would like to say I succeeded. I had experience stretching a canvas so I was confident we would do well, and we did. Painting the canvas the most fun. Every team could paint whatever they wanted so I helped my team out. The only problem with the painting unit is the cleanup. Our group had an advantage because I shared all of my own paints and brushes so we didn’t have wait in line to get supplies. Since they were all my supplies, I cleaned everything up. Many teams, on the other hand, did not clean up, or did a poor job.

If you ever take Tech Theater, clean up! It is not difficult to wash a few paint brushes and put saran wrap on leftover paint. The painting unit should introduce the idea of working collaboratively on something to prepare the class for the construction unit. It also helps to get to know your classmates before doing a huge project with them.  

IMG_5566Not being able to walk during the construction unit can make things challenging too and not just for me. The construction unit is a group project where each team was to cut and assemble a table. Every member has to contribute and when you are limited in movement, it leaves little to do. For my team, this table was going to be used in the fall play, Robin Hood. Within the play, an actress stands on the table and jumps. So if we screwed it up, it could possibly injure someone. That was a pressure that pushed us to work hard the entire time. With my lack of movement, I was left to measuring all the pieces of wood and keeping tally of what needed to be cut. It sounds simple but if I made a mistake, it would make the assembly impossible. Somehow we managed to finish our table with minor errors and no actor was injured during the play. I definitely struggled during this unit due to the work load each of us had to do. The construction unit taught everyone, my group especially, how to work as a team and take pride in your work.

After the construction unit, tech theatre is mainly learning more in-depth about theater. We watch Shrek: The Musical to learn about lighting strategies and later create a light design of our own. We also watched an old Cary Grant movie: Arsenic and Old Lace to learn about costume design. We then had to design our own costumes for the movie as if it was a play. For anyone who is tech-savvy, the sound unit is by far the most entertaining.We also learn how to destroy a song and create our own music on Garageband. It is similar to what you learn in Multimedia 1, but it is unique.

4G7A1587The makeup unit is pretty simple especially if you understand art. Painting a face is exactly like painting on someone’s face. This also means that if you enjoy doing makeup, you would probably do very well in an art class.  The final project combines all skills we have learned during the trimester. Working collaboratively with a group, we must design music, costume, makeup, props, scenery and lighting for a play. It is the most work but the creative freedom is why we do it and have fun. Overall, tech theatre is one of the most educational electives you can take at Homestead. Especially if you want to go into theater after graduation. If you take the class, I hope no one tells you to break a leg, because you don’t want to end up in cast like me.

Natalie Brancaccio
Tech Theatre
1st Trimester 2015

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