Hershey Tech Crew Brings Play To Life

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

By Jenny Kim

If they do their job right, they’re invisible.

The sound and light board is located in the booth above the auditorium. The Hershey tech crew determines the color and movement of the lights and also the loudness of the microphones through this board.

The sound and light board is located in the booth above the auditorium. The Hershey tech crew determines the color and movement of the lights and also the volume of the microphones through this board.

For Hershey High School’s 2015 fall play, Agatha Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution, the Hershey tech crew, although least noticed, brings the play to life through the use of different light and sound effects. They must work hours to execute a heart wrenching production.  These long hours can be tough and never ending, but also lead to a tech crew family, working together to create the production of a lifetime.

Philip Ayala, technical director, is responsible for leading the tech crew. To use the light and sound equipment professionally and safely, Ayala and a few tech savvy students teach the tech crew certain techniques to create different moods. For instance, colored gels are put into stage lights to make either dramatic, melancholy, or happy scenes. For these type of scenes either red, blue, or yellow is put in.

“Many components go into tech crew,” Ayala said, “it is crucial that the students know how and when to bring in the various lights and sounds.”

Although tech can be very intriguing, it can also be a huge time commitment. Paige Beck, sophomore, has spent many hours a night perfecting each scene for past plays. Usually from 3:30 to 6 p.m. every day after school, the tech crew works with the actors to refine each scene. During “Tech Sunday,” the Sunday before the show, the tech crew is there from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m..

During tech week, the week before the play, it is full of rushing around and rerunning every scene to perfection. The tech crew performs dry tech, which is running through the scenes without the actors. Afterwards, they run the play with the actors, similar to a dress rehearsal. It can become egregious and somewhat never ending.

“There can be days where the tech crew has had to stay twice as long to work on the play,” Ayala said.

Yet Paige Beck enjoys every minute of being on tech crew. Despite the demanding long hours, those long hours of working together make some sort of tech crew family. Because the tech crew must be an effective team, each member must be codependent on each other and work together. The tech crew has become a close knit squad.

“The amount of work that you have to do brings everyone together,” Beck said, “You make friends with everyone in the theatre department.”

Michelle O’Brien, HHS English teacher and play director, thinks that the tech crew is one of the most essential crews to the play. Without the work of the tech crew, the plays can easily become “passionless and unexpressive”. Elements such as spotlights or sound effects really bring in the audience to the edge of their seat, which is a key component to any musical or play.

“I cannot be thankful enough for the students that have put in their time to help our productions,” said O’Brien.

The Hershey Tech Crew has helped bring many fantastic plays and musicals. From Crazy For You, Seussical the Musical, to Damn Yankees, they have drawn many people’s eyes for many years. Even though no one notices until they mess up, the Hershey Tech Crew provides the result of hard work, passion, and style.

“From newbies to experts,” Beck said, “the Hershey tech crew is a top notch team that helps create an astounding theatre production.”