Behind the scenes of Butler Theatre

Backstage stars help the show go on

by Nadine Armstrong

Putting on a show takes time, commitment, effort and lots of people. There are many students involved that the audience doesn’t see.

Who are these people that help make the magic of a show? They are the technical production staff. The technical theater production staff helps create the set, move from one scene to the next, helps the actors backstage and allows the audience to see the stage and hear the music.

The stage manager is the person that leads the technical arrangements of the show and helps the actors.

Sophomore Kendall Cerney has been a stage manager for some of Butler Theatre’s productions.

“A lot of work goes into being a stage manager,” he says. “You have to keep the actors on page with what the director wants and make sure the show runs smoothly.”

Cerney says the most stressful night for stage managing is opening night. There is an audience adding more stress to make the show run smoothly.

Building the set starts as soon as the students can start working. Cerney says they started working on the set for Tomato Plant Girl and Hair Deux as soon as the 2017 spring semester started and they could clean off the stage.

Sophomore Maddie Cannon was one of the students backstage helping with quick changes during Where’s Charlie?

Getting ready for show time is shorter for the technical side of the show. Cannon says she went in a week before to get the timing down for the quick changes.

“It’s a rush making sure the costumes are laid out and putting them on the actors,” Cannon says.

During show time, backstage can get hectic.

“Everyone has to know where the others are,” Cannon says. “I had a spot on both sides where I helped Seth (Charlie) with quick changes.”

Cannon also worked soundboard for A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

She went in weeks before in order to find the sound effects that Director Samuel Sparks wanted. When she found something that worked, she took it into

Q-Lab (a sound editing software) and made it to how long she needed. Then she put them in the order she needed to play them.

“My favorite part of my Butler theater experience is interacting with everyone here,” Cerney says.

Kendall Cerney ensures the lights and sound are ready to go for rehearsals. photo by Nadine Armstrong
Allison Pieschl makes the final touches on a mirror in the ladies’ room. photo by Nadine Armstrong

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