November 10, 2017

Curtains Rise on the Unsung Heroes of GOA Theater

Naomi Sessler ‘21

Most people’s days aren’t spent repairing shattered goblets, taping floors and clothing a dead body, but for Golda Och Academy’s crew members, it’s just business as usual during Tech Week.
Audience members come to see a performance,  not thinking about all the little details that bring a show to life.  The sets, the props, the scenery are all the products of a hard-working crew. When things go wrong, such as goblets breaking or wardrobes malfunctioning, the crew is always there to lend a helping hand.
Mrs. Watson, art teacher and the head of the crew at GOA, said that when things go wrong it is just “part of the joy of live theater.”
Although Tech Week can be unnerving and stressful,  the backstage team manages to get things back on track, with a little help from Watson, when things go wrong.
“Props get lost and broken, but we always seem to make it work and find a solution,” senior Ari Denlow said. “Everything always seems to fall into place.”
While there are many similarities in a show, like props, lights and sets, all of those elements have different components that make each show different.
“Every day is different and every show is different based on the time period,” Watson said.
Specific shows require unique props to enhance the plot. Sometimes, props are rented, but most of the time, it is up to the crew to construct, gather and design important set pieces. For example, in the upcoming GOA production, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” there are many interesting props that are not usually found in a regular comedy.
The Tech crew was challenged to collect items like poisoned wine, a dead body, creepy lab equipment and a 1940s telephone. Dressing a dead body was another uncommon task that added to the fun.
Even the best-laid plans for a performance sometimes go awry. An actor trips on the backdrop and it rips, a stage door won’t open but the show must go on. While the cast takes their bows, the crew make sure everything runs smoothly backstage.

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