When people watch a performance at Trottier or any auditorium at all, the audience only sees the performers, but they do not see who or what makes them seen, heard, and costumed and able to make the show come to life. There are many people behind the scenes controlling lights, sound, props, and the cast. The Trottier school play and the musical is a real big deal, not only for the cast but even for the crew and teachers who direct because of the effort and time that goes into it.
There is a lot of work that is put into both of the performances. Even before the cast has even been picked, the directors have to research shows, prepare contracts and audition materials, and then stay after school to watch kids audition for a part. The four teachers who do this are really dedicated to what they do.
During rehearsals, a lot of kids make new friends and reconnect with other friends they haven’t talked to in a while. However, what many people outside of the play don’t realize is that the play is for everyone. There are many stereotypes about how drama is only for nerds and uncool people, but it’s not. The cast at Trottier is made up of all three grades and a variety of social groups. It is open to anyone who wants to participate, and it provides everyone with a sense of belonging.
The tech crew is a group of 2-4 students who work with Mrs. Penzone. The tech crew’s job is to control the lights and the sound for the play. Before tech can be added to a show, the lighting board has to be loaded with light cues that are unique to each show. These light cues are important to show changes in scenes and to provide special effects for different things happening on stage. In preparation for the upcoming play, the tech crew must get to the auditorium right after school to set up the stage and test the microphones for the cast. Lastly, they make sure all of the electronics are working properly and in order. The tech crew is also responsible for the sound cues that are needed for different sound effects, such as bells, thunder, animals, etc.
The stage crew changes the sets, controls the curtains, maintains the props, and directs the cast to get ready for their next scene in the show. Many people might think, “Oh, that’s easy,” but it’s really a lot of work because there are only four members on the stage crew, and they have a lot to do. Communication is essential to the stage crew. For instance, when the curtains need to be closed or when the set needs to be changed, the stage and tech crew all communicate through walkie-talkies. For each play/musical there is at Trottier, a unique set is built, which may also include a backdrop.
Many people probably know what the cast does, but what the audience sees on stage does not come from just one practice. Final performances are a result of a dedicated cast that rehearses three days a week after school. Two weeks before the show, the cast and both crews are at Trottier until 5 p.m., practicing and getting ready for the big show.
Trottier plays and musicals are complex to put together. Although it’s hard, there is a great team working together. When watching a performance, think about how much work goes into putting together a school play or any performance.