"All the world's a stage
And all the men and women, merely players."
As You Like It Act 2, scene 7, 139–140
That is true enough, Mr. Shakespeare, but we all know it takes more than actors to make a show successful. It takes a whole army of people that the audience never sees. It takes a Techie (pronounced 'Teckie') or two to make the theatre world go round. (Actually, it takes a lot more than two usually.) The Techies, or Technicians, are charged with everything you see and hear that isn't an actor. They design and build sets, lights, sound, props, hair, make-up, and costumes. Then, they make sure that everything runs smoothly with microphones, costume changes, scenery and lighting shifts, and special effects.
I have a special place in my heart for techies. I'm married to one, in fact: a brilliant and marvelous scenic designer who has saved my bacon more than once with his artistry and experience. He built me a paper canoe in our living room last night while I furiously stitched away on a costume for a tarantula. This costume is very simple in it's design, but also very effective. Most important, though, is that it was entirely designed by one of my 3rd graders. Here's his design sketch below:
And the finished product? Here is the lovely Helene, one of our Box Office Associates, modeling half of the Tarantula costume.
When I showed the class this costume today, the boy was so excited. "I did that!" he told his classmates, "That's my design!" "Very cool," replied the boy beside him. "That's awesome!" said the boy playing the Tarantula.
Prelude isn't just about acting or writing. It is a chance for all kids to experience the journey from concept to reality, whether they are the performers or the techies of the future.
After all, somebody's up there pointing that spotlight.