Brearley's Unique Theater Tech Program--Don't Miss "Sweeney Todd" This Weekend!
As shown by all the enthusiastic audience members flocking to Brearley’s 14 shows offered each year, the School’s drama program enjoys a well-deserved reputation for creativity and excellence. A major component of that success can be attributed to the dedicated and talented students who—as members of “Brearley Tech”—work behind the scenes to help bring each production to life—from set construction and lighting to costumes, props and publicity.
Brearley stands out in offering students a comprehensive theater tech program that encompasses all non-performance elements of a production. “Our students, with their natural curiosity, keen powers of observation and desire to solve problems together, are ideally suited for the responsibilities of the tech side of drama,” says
Drama Department Head Robert Duke.
Brearley tech is led each year by four “Tech Heads,”
two seniors and two juniors, who are responsible for filling the backstage positions that are typically involved in each production . Students write notes indicating their areas of interest to the Tech Heads, who then review the student preferences and create crews for each show. Because all Brearley productions are run by student tech crews, backstage participants get plenty of hands-on experience. While the members of Brearley’s Drama Department serve as Faculty Advisors to the Tech Heads, their primary goal is to supervise and provide support; Tech Heads (literally) run the show.
The degree of responsibility undertaken—and skill levels displayed—by the girls working in tech are formidable: stage managers keep track of myriad details while coordinating the needs of the director and the actors; lighting designers operate lighting boards and develop light plots; costume assistants research historical time periods and learn the building blocks of costume design and character enhancement; assistants to the Technical Director help to design and build sets while also coordinating the efforts of props, costumes, lights and sound; set crews re-envision performance spaces and tackle design challenges; and props assistants use technical skills and lively imaginations to develop “a knack for making something out of nothing.”
--Charlotte Kingham for eNews from Brearley