Show Week Stress
Twice a year, the technical theater students of Leesville endure something fondly referred to as “Hell Week,” the week preceding a school production. Behind the curtain, students dressed in all black make the show happen under the direction of crew heads.
Crew heads are responsible for managing their entire crew and making sure that their contributions to the show run smoothly. Sara Newman, senior and Costumes crew head, is responsible for dressing the actors and designing the costumes. Along with the hair and make-up crews, Newman makes sure that the actors look their part on stage.
“This is my seventh show, and my seventh Hell Week,” said Newman. “[Hell Week] is killing me. This is my first show as a crew head, and I am definitely seeing a difference in the responsibilities. Some actors don’t do what they are told when it comes to costumes, which puts more pressure on me,” said Newman. “I’ve already cried five times today.”
Other technical crews are responsible for making the stage resemble the time period in which the show takes place, these being lights, set construction, shifting, sound, props and paint.
After five shows, Clara Freeze, junior and Lights co-crew head, empathizes with Newman. “This is my first show as a co-crew head, and my responsibilities have probably tripled from my first show,” said Freeze. “I’m also lighting designer for this show, so having another crew head to share the responsibilities helps me do both of my jobs.”
Michael Goff, junior and Freeze’s co-crew head, has managed to stay relaxed during Hell Week despite his responsibilities as a co-crew head. “I stay stress-free by delegating work to my crew, and working with Clara to make sure that everything will run smoothly during rehearsals and the show. I also have some experience because I was a co-crew head on Dracula.”
Like most challenges, there are rewarding moments as opening night arrives. Haley Reconnu, junior and Props crew head, has mixed feelings about her title.
“This is my first show as crew head and my first show as designer. It can be overwhelming at times, but at the same time it’s nice to have people that are loyal to you. I’m incredibly proud of my props crew for this show, they have helped me a lot as I’m getting used to my new responsibilities,” said Reconnu.
With another show under their belts, the crew heads of Blithe Spirit are catching up on sleep and enjoying their free time until Cinderella in the spring.