Before Thanksgiving break, HC Theatre finished up their production of Oscar Wilde’s most famous work, “The Importance of Being Earnest.” With this production, I got an even better look at the backstage portion of theatre by working crew.
While my schedule only permitted me to work on Tuesdays (and some odd days here and there), I still got to contribute to the show. I mainly worked on the electrics crew, which is in charge of putting up all the lighting instruments and making sure they are facing the right way.
We also did some work on scenic crew painting risers and floors. Personally, through doing various tasks my absolute favorite thing to do during crew hours is work on the catwalk where we hang a lot of lights. I’m not afraid of heights like other members of the theatre department, so it’s making it so they don’t have to do it, and I actually like being up in the air like that.
One thing that comes with being in a production or being in some theatre classes, having a theatre scholarship, or pursuing a major or minor in theatre, is an event that follows every production, strike.
Strike is one of my favorite parts of the production process (an unpopular opinion for many theatre students). It allows for a bit of release, and it’s a good way to close out a show. Not to mention it gets all the theatre people in the same place at the same time, which is cool to see because you don’t always see the people who work in costumes or props if you are doing electrics.
Not to mention probably the funnest part of strike. For us it’s tradition to pile into vehicles and make a mass exodus to the Taco Bell in Madison. We spend an hour or two there eating, talking, and just enjoying each others’ company. It’s a great tradition and while it’s a lot of smelly manual labor it helps us stay together as a theatre community.