A post by Jenna Wilcox, PAA Artistic Director.
Why Technical Theatre? All of our tech students would say things like, “because it is cool” and “it is fun” or “I don’t like being on stage but I like being a part of it”. I have also heard “this way I don’t have to memorize”. Whatever their reason, they are smart to take part in technical theatre.
Did you know that technical theatre students have a greater chance of earning a living working in their field of choice? It is true. There are far fewer applicants when compared to the actors, singers and dancers that audition to work. They also get to learn new skills like programming, using power tools, painting techniques and how to sew. These skills easily translate to other fields and can be very useful when getting a job.
My reason for working tech as a young person? I got to see the show from a totally different perspective. I loved working the cues, moving pieces on and off stage, and building something with my own hands. I still take great pleasure from making a costume and watching an actor wear it on stage. I like knowing my effort and skill helped that actor make choices about his or her character. I also found that there was a special camaraderie amongst the tech students that didn’t exist for the actors. It was sort of like a secret club. We were the first to arrive and the last to leave and while we too part in the show like the performers, we moved around outside of it. We got to control things like volume and light. We were able to add color and vibrancy and when painted with the performance, made the whole picture come together.
If you are a performer and haven’t ever worked tech, you must! It is a great way to understand the business and you will find you have new found respect for those who do work tech. Come on, join the club!