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Education Corner:  Mar 2017 – Student Tech

Education Corner: Mar 2017 – Student Tech


There is really one one type of youth who does running crew: Awesome youth. Running crew is a catch all term for Backstage Crew, Light Board Operator (LBO), Sound Board Operator (SBO), Spotlight Operator (Spot Op), and Costume Crew. At least, those are the running crew positions available for youth at Stages Theatre Company.

Every show has a different set of crew needs. For example, “Fancy Nancy: The Musical” only needed a LBO. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” needed a LBO, Spot Op, and Costume Crew. Every show needs at least one reliable and focused crew member who can attend rehearsals tech week and all of the performances. Just like actors, running crew attends weekend and weekday performances all while keeping up with, or ahead of, their schoolwork.

These unsung heroes don’t get to be in receiving line after the show to thank their audiences. While the actors put on their costumes, they dress in black to disappear into the background of set changes and backstage. While the cast thanks the audience, they help reset the props and set for the next show. These backstage ninjas troubleshoot an actor’s mic or costume in under 10 seconds during set changes, make the lights change at precisely the right moment, and sometimes sit high above the audiences heads on the catwalk waiting to contribute their art for the sake of the show. It is their aim to do the job so well the audience doesn’t even know they’re there “behind the curtain.”

Sometimes those who do Running Crew at Stages are youth who know that Theatre Design and Technology is what they like best. Sometimes they are actors who didn’t get cast in the show but want to be involved in any way possible. Always, the youth who do crew have one thing in common: they are awesome.

Becca Rodgers
Education & Production Associate  

Learn more about working BACKSTAGE

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