In the world of live theater, a crucial part of any performance happens behind the scenes, both before the production opens and during its run. Building the set, designing the lights, planning the sound cues, and creating the special effects—it’s all just the beginning! Once a production hits the stage, the tech crewmembers work together to keep each performance running smoothly and safely, from the moment the curtain rises to the very last cue.
Christian Keyes ’19 knows this firsthand. He joined the Theater Department tech crew last fall, during his first year at Trinity-Pawling. The first project he tackled with fellow crewmembers was building a door for the set of Almost, Maine, the School’s fall production last year. It was his family business, Keyes said, that led him to join the crew in the first place. “My grandfather owns a construction business, so I thought, with my previous experience of building, why not help out?” he began. “I also have an interest in electronics and lighting, which led me to my station at the lighting board.”
Harvey, this year’s fall play, marks Keye’s fourth production on the tech crew. Rehearsals are in full swing—which means the work behind the scenes has kicked into high gear. “The most challenging part of being on tech crew is all of the preparation,” Keyes shared. “Building, planning, and putting it all together so that the audience can truly enjoy everyone’s hard work.”
For Theater Director Kent Burnham, Keyes and the entire tech crew are the unsung heroes of the Theater Department. “The tech crew is integral to making a play come to life,” shared Burnham. “They physically create the imaginative concepts and pie-in-the-sky ideas of the director. They are the collaborative tissue — the nuts and bolts — that create the world of the play. I look to Christian and his team for help at every turn of the process.”
When putting together a production, Keyes and his fellow crewmembers find it exciting to see their work enhance the action on stage. After all, the show would not be complete without the lights, set, and sound. When Keyes is at his station behind the lighting board, he most enjoys experiencing the moment when the production really comes to life. And it’s his team’s hard work behind the scenes, he said, that makes the performance that much more captivating. “I believe the audience can gain a greater understanding of the storyline and the actors through the set, light, and sound cues,” he shared. “I’m really looking forward to seeing my team in action on opening night.”
Harvey will take the stage in Gardiner Theater on November 9, 10, and 11.