As the spring musical approaches, fine arts students buzz with excitement.
At the center of all the high energy lies the technical theatre department or the techies as they are known throughout the school.
Do not call them a clique, however, because they will be sure to let you know that they are much more than that.
“We’re more like a crazy family than a clique,” said Darryl Postley, senior.
Techies are in charge of many things including set design and construction, lighting, sound, costume development, makeup application and hair preparation for plays and musicals.
Not only are techies responsible for making plays and musicals run smoothly, but they have additional responsibilities that sometimes are overlooked.
“A lot of people think we just work on plays and stuff, but we also work all assemblies and concerts. We pretty much build and paint everything as well. It’s not the teachers doing all that work—trust me,” said Jessica Prinsloo, junior.
Within their “crazy family,” there are two different subgroups of techies. First, there are soft tech members which include hair, makeup and costume crews. Hard tech members include paint, lighting, sound, shifting and construction crews.
There is no doubt that the techies are a close knit group of people. While this is a blessing in terms of work ethic and friendship, techies are sometimes accused of being a little too exclusive.
“We accept anyone who isn’t afraid to stand out,” said Postley. “If anyone is shy, it might be hard to fit in with us because we are so outrageous.”
There are many stereotypes that techies put up with on a regular basis.
“I love the stereotype that everyone thinks we’re a whole bunch of emo freaks who wear black all the time,” said Densmore.
“It’s so funny because running crews are required to wear black, so that we aren’t seen on stage. Black just becomes part of our wardrobe,” said Erin Tekano, senior.
Techies embrace what some may view as questionable behavior like wearing pajama bottoms to school or sporting Minnie Mouse costumes to lunch.
“Yeah, we’re definitely weird, but that is only because we are all so very creative. Some find it necessary to express their creativity in awkward ways, which gives techies a bad rep sometimes,” said Densmore.
Many techies recall “finding themselves” within the technical theater department. “Many times, techies were once people that weren’t accepted into other groups at school, but we love all kinds of different people in the tech department. Everyone is typically accepted if they show up with the confidence to be themselves,” said Postley.
Techies admit that sometimes they put in so many long hours and become so engrossed within technical theater that they shut themselves off from other people.
“It’s not that we’re antisocial or anything—we just have time constraints.”
Another constraint is the sometimes rigid relationship between actors and techies.
“It’s a relationship that isn’t discussed for a good reason. I think sometimes techies sometimes resent actors because many of them give off the impression that they believe we techies are there for them and that they ‘make the show’, when in reality, we’re there for the show as a whole,” said Prinsloo.
“To be honest, I think techies also get a little envious every now and then. I mean, when an audience goes to see a show, they see the actors first. They don’t notice the set as early on or what kind of lighting or paint we used,” said Densmore.
“I love the techies! I have some good friends in the tech department,” said Kristin Taylor, actress, in defense of the tense relationship.
“I think sometimes we can come across as a little obnoxious, but I think all of that energy comes from happiness and excitement. We just love to be on stage—that’s where we come alive. Sometimes we may come off a little over the top, but I mean that’s who we are—we’re actors,” said Taylor.
For the most part, actors and techies try to get along, and in the end they both share the common goal of making a show the best it can be.
“I just want people to know that they should all just try to get to know the techies because we’re not really all that weird. We just have a lot of quirks and aren’t afraid to hide them.”