Thousand Oaks High School’s production of, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” just wrapped up its final performance. While usually the spotlight is on the actors, the theater tech students also have a huge part in making the production flow smoothly. When the actors were learning and rehearsing the play, the students from theater tech were also working vigorously on creating the abstract forest set, learning light cues, checking the actor’s mics, and much more.
“When the tech theater kids are backstage working a show, we run the sound, light cues, curtains, and general things that keep the play going,” sophomore Kayden Aingworth said. Another one of the many responsibilities that the tech theater students have is to make sure that the fog machine runs properly. The smoke was a key part of the play, creating confusion and mystery amongst the characters, so it was crucial that it worked properly.
“There’s a nickname I have for that smoke machine that I can’t say right now. It caused us all sorts of problems. When the air conditioning was on, the smoke would shoot straight back into our faces and fill the wings with smoke,” sophomore Danny Bossler said, “We also had trouble with the smoke machine accidentally getting unplugged by people tripping over the cord, so trying getting it to work each night was interesting.”
During the play, the actors were backstage with the crew, working with them on mics, quick costume changes, and other tasks that require the help of a stagehand. Before the show began, the cast and crew were able to enjoy a wide variety of snacks and participate in “theater warm ups” to get their energy up.
“By far my favorite part of working the shows was the snack table. We had cookies and chips and lots of cider,” sophomore Jordan Damron said. “Apple cider was the favorite of the whole cast and crew. We would go through like three jugs of hot apple cider at a time.”
After the students finished snacking and warming up, the director Mr. Donia would give all the kids a pep talk before the play would begin.
“All the theater kids absolutely love Mr. Donia,” said Damron, “We’ve made up songs about him. We’ve made up a Wikia page for him. His students love him. Someone even made a musical tribute on YouTube about him. We still don’t know who made it.”
The students in theater tech enjoy the class, and altogether the play was fun for both the theater and tech theater students. They all worked hard for “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” to become the magical production that it was.
“Tech theater is a really fun class!” Kayden Aingworth said, “If you like building things and working with actors, come join tech theater.”