Tech Club Supports Theater Events


Katie Erickson, Staff Writer

The Theatre Tech Club handles the light and sound effects for all shows performed by Campolindo performing arts programs. The club meets Mondays from 3-5pm in the CPAC and has 12 members.

According to junior Samantha Heckle, club participation consists of learning how to work the audio equipment and lights. “Basically, we work on the sounds and lights for all shows performed in the CPAC. At the beginning of the year, we did the band and orchestra concert,” she said.

The club works about 10 performances a year.

According to the advisor of the club, Ross Wilson, the class is an engaging and fun way for students interested in the technological aspect of the performances to be a part of a show. “The best part of the class for the kids is there is a special feeling you get from being part of a performance. Some people are made to be onstage and some people were made to be behind the scenes but both are equally essential to have a performance to come off as good and professional as it possibly can,” said Wilson.

Heckle, a two year club veteran, enjoys the group because she likes to be involved in the productions. “I was really interested in going to the concerts and I think it is interesting doing the lights,” she said.

Performance preparation ranges from about 10 minutes to 6 hours, depending on the nature of the event.

According to Wilson, the MVPC Wassail, the winter choral concert, takes about 6 hours of preparation. “We record from upstairs, down into my studio downstairs. There will be 4 cameras in the sanctuary and all the microphones will be connected to the board  and then from the board, they will go downstairs into my studio, where they will be recorded. After the Wassail,  we will upload all of that stuff into a computer and I will make a DVD of the concert,” he said.

“We use at least five techs for every performance of the musical, not including all of the other support staff,” Wilson explained.

During the musical production, there are two jobs that must be fulfilled by the tech club members. “We have a couple techs putting microphones on people with the wireless microphones, making sure their headsets are properly placed and making sure they have the right ones. During a performance, sometimes there is a problem or the microphones switch off or someone has the wrong one or the batteries go dead so the techs run to the back to get them squared away,” said Wilson.

Being on the tech staff is full time job. Each member is on high alert during the musical performance to make sure everything runs smoothly. “Then, they collect and organize them so the next day and performance, everything is laid out just as it was and everybody gets  the same pack and microphones so everything is the same each night. We also have 3 people work the lights in the catwalks,” said Wilson.

According to Wilson, the challenge of working a performance is that club members have to do the job correctly the first time. “You only have one chance to get it right.  There is no rewind  or command z. Once something has happened, its happened so we have to get it right the first time,” he said.

Wilson believes that the club was started because there was a lack of opportunity for those who wanted to specialize in audio. “I contacted Mr. Seligman if he had any kids that were specifically interested in audio.  I would take them under my wing at church and start teaching them audio, mixing and recording techniques, either on Wednesday night at Senior High or Sundays at service,” he said.

Eventually, this small group grew into a club. “One thing lead to another and between Mr. Seligman, Mr. Roberts and Principal Walker, it was decided that an afterschool tech club would be great thing and I would probably be the best person to run it,” said Wilson.

According to Wilson, the club is a great way to get involved in the production of the theater events. “It is satisfying to be part of a team and a creative endeavor.  For those who don’t want to onstage, this is their cup of tea,” said Wilson.