The Tech Crew Perspective


The Tech Crew Perspective 

Ever wonder who makes all the shows and events at Dakota’s Auditorium run? Who makes those gigantic curtains move? What’s going on backstage? Who’s doing the lights? What exactly are those guys doing at that desk with all the buttons? Well… we’re running the auditorium. 

            There are four subdivisions of tech crew: Stage, Rail, Lights, and Sound. Now there are about 17 employees on Dakota’s Tech Crew and we all have our positions. First off we have Stagehand located stage right. Stagehand is all about managing all that happens backstage including mics, moving props, and tending to any performer’s needs. We currently have 7 members for our backstage crew (including yours truly). 

            Next backstage is rail, basically everything that hangs from the ceiling. Why is it called rail? I don’t know I don’t pull ropes. That’s Matt Barnett’s job as head of rail or as he likes to proclaim himself, “Rail God.” Word of advice don’t touch ANY of the ducks by rail, Matty B will devour you. Rail is usually a one-man job but when things get rough like in Beauty and the Beast, we’ll have two workers waiting for their cue every 6-12 mins. 


            Now the next two subdivisions are by far the most complicated areas and require hours of training to handle properly. Sound is kinda just well, sound. They control different levels of frequency and pitch while turning on and off mics around the aud. Sound may also deal with well, sound effects like gunshots as seen in Les Mis. From what I know, sound requires a lot of focus and memorization, not for everyone… mad respect to those at sound though. 

            Last but definitely not least, we got lights. I haven’t the faintest idea on how lights work but I know they’re the most complicated field by far. Before any musical we have a whole week dedicated to lights alone involving hours of cast standing around for lights to mark their positions and writing cues. To be blunt, it’s a slow week but really puts a show together. Lights typically work up in the lights booth working with spotlights and the lights board but on rare occasions, may go up to the catwalk for additional spotlights and maintenance. Both lights and sound are essential to any Dakota production and make them the spectacle they are.  

            Now what else does tech crew do? Well, maintenance of the aud is our most recurring job (picking up all the gross trash), but we also construct every set for Dakota Theater productions including the most recent Les Mis. The set building process is a grueling but satisfying. Its comparable to finishing your first 1200+ piece Lego Millennium Falcon at the age of 9, its just amazing ok. We also prep concerts as well as run meetings such as Professional Development (the meetings teachers are forced to attend, and we get a day off) and NHS meetings. Tech basically is just the staff of the Auditorium, ready for a show! Thank you tech!