The Uproar

A Crew-cial Crowd

What goes on behind the scenes of every NA production

Macy+Rothermel+sits+at+the+sound+board+in+the+auditorium+booth+during+a+tech+week+rehearsal.
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A Crew-cial Crowd

Macy Rothermel sits at the sound board in the auditorium booth during a tech week rehearsal.

Macy Rothermel sits at the sound board in the auditorium booth during a tech week rehearsal.

photo by Nathan Kelly

Macy Rothermel sits at the sound board in the auditorium booth during a tech week rehearsal.

photo by Nathan Kelly

photo by Nathan Kelly

Macy Rothermel sits at the sound board in the auditorium booth during a tech week rehearsal.

Alex Flagg, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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Behind the scenes of every production you’ve ever seen here at North Allegheny lurks a breed of enigmatic figures — dressed in all black, they’re NASH ninjas, keeping shows together.  But who are the members of stage crew? And what exactly do they do?

Currently, the NA stage crew is comprised of 20-30 students, depending on the requirements of the show they are producing.  The spring musical requires the most and includes middle school, NAI, and NASH members. Run by Mr. Kevin Zebley of the Tech Ed Department, the stage crew pulls in a talented pool of students with interests in a variety of technological areas.

“Stage crew is essentially the back bone of the musicals and plays,” said Bridget Russell, who works backstage.  “It’s great to see what the actors and musicians do, but without the crew moving around the sets and helping with the lights and sounds, there would be no show.”

Stage crew does it all for this year’s production of Good News.  From pushing set pieces on stage (and hiding behind them during scenes!) to managing thousands of dollars worth of sound equipment, there’s something for all levels of knowledge.

Pullquote Photo

You’re holding 70 pounds, but you’re also holding the musical because without this equipment the musical just doesn’t happen.”

— Alex Stepko

“We have many people involved in the crew who started doing this for fun because they had friends in it,” said Joe Borsch, the student head of stage crew.  “And they do great jobs. I would just say that anyone can learn this stuff — anyone who has the desire or is interested in theatre, come on down, it’s a great time!”

One of the highlights of this year’s show is the mock-up Model T created by the crew.  It’s fully functioning and steerable, adding a sense of realism to the old-fashioned show.

“I love it,” said Alex Stepko, who had a hand in its creation.  “It was a lot of measuring to try to take the foam core model and transfer it into something real.  It was a lot of guess and check, but I think it turned out really well.”

Another memorable addition is the new projector system installed.   One was used during the middle school’s production of The Lion King Jr., but they’ve added a second unit for Good News.  While it hasn’t rendered set pieces completely obsolete, it gives more flexibility, even creating virtual fireworks at the end of this year’s show.  It cost a whopping $20,000, but crew asserts it’s worth the high price.

“It allows us to get rid of backdrops,” said Borsch.  “When you come see Good News, you’ll see no backdrops in the show at all.  You’ll see video, and you’ll see projections. The other cool thing about those backdrops is that they are actually all hand-drawn.  It really helps create a nice cohesive look across the stage.”

Stepko is particularly aware of the new projector’s value.

“You definitely develop a respect for how expensive it is a lot quicker when you’re the one who put it in,” he said.  “I helped move the projectors.  You’re holding 70 pounds, but you’re also holding the musical because without this equipment the musical just doesn’t happen.  You definitely hold them with a firmer grip when you remember.”

Stage crew is undoubtedly an integral — but unseen — part of any production at NA.  Despite all they do for the show, though, many in the crew enjoy their hidden roles backstage.

“I love being behind the scenes,” Borsch said.  “I love what I do. The cast has been working the show for months, and they know it already, but for us, it’s the first time we’ve ever seen it.  It’s magical to me. I love taking what I know and really creating a piece of artwork on stage.”

While it’s too late to join the crew of Good News (tickets are on sale here!), there are plenty of upcoming opportunities to get involved.  Check out the flyers around the school, or meet up with Mr. Zebley.

About the Writer
Alex Flagg, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Alex Flagg is a senior this year.  She loves reading, writing, and coffee, and she hates math, parking, and getting up early.  Outside of class, Alex...

1 Comment

One Response to “A Crew-cial Crowd”

  1. Ahlam on March 14th, 2019 10:39 am

    Love this. Thank you, Alex!!

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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