Behind The Curtain: A Look Into What The Audience Does Not See


Tech crew smiles together for a photo on Curtains Set after the opening night of the production.

Leah Cororve, Reporter

Dazzling costumes, beautiful singing, and flashy dances are all aspects of what the audience members of TheEmery/Weiner’s recent production of Curtains saw from the moment the show began to when the actors ran off stage after taking their final bows. Yet, what the viewers do not see is the advanced technical work that goes on “behind the curtain” to bring this show to life. Even though Curtains is what Emery/Weiner technical director Walker Fair referred to as “not [a] tech-heavy show,” it was still filled with complicated elements such as dry ice, scenic automation, and a globe that dropped from the ceiling which senior Jack Paransky was dangling off of. 

The sets, props, and technology that helped turn Curtains into an amazing show, took months of work to create. Fair explained that they “started building the Curtains set when the previous [Emery/Weiner] show, [The Lion, Witch, and The Wardrobe], ended and did not finish until right before Curtains began.” Additionally, Sage Rosenfeld, Emery/Weiner senior and Curtains’ Production Stage Manager shared that she “was there from the very first day of rehearsal and until the end of the last show.”

There were twenty students in the Curtains’ tech crew who had jobs ranging from sound, light, stage management, deck automation, rigging, props, and more. Fair stated that “the majority of tech crew members join the production about two weeks before the show opens,” where they undergo a process called “tech week” in which they each learn and practice their specific roles. Yet, despite Fair’s guidance and leadership throughout the entire process, Rosenfeld emphasized that “he wants it to be very student-led, so it’s up to us to work together and fix a lot of problems.” 

Being a part of the Curtains’ tech crew meant a lot to Rosenfeld. She explained that teching a show is “the only thing that catches [her] focus.” She went on to say that “it makes me want to work hard and is super captivating.” Working on the Curtains’ tech crew was a beneficial experience for Rosenfeld and many other high school students, as it taught them that hard work and dedication are valuable skills to have. So, next time you are watching a performance, give extra thanks to the tech crew and all of the hard work they put into making it possible.