Women in Black

When a drama production is put on, everyone knows the names of the actors on the stage, but the crew behind them, who ensures that the production can even go on, is often overlooked. With the latest play, The Crucible, the set, costumes, and behind the stage crew had to work harder than ever before.

The number of cast members stayed about the same for the fall and spring while the number of crew members dwindled. This season, 39 people signed up for the jovial Into the Woods crew, but only 28 people signed up to be on The Crucible crew.

Many people come to the crew looking for a community. Catherine Sarca, a junior on the costume department crew, said “I was interested in costumes and I just wanted to be part of an activity that would let me follow my interests and since I am not part of sports, I wanted to find a ‘team’ to be a part of.” Others agree.

One part of the community experience is Bethesda Blackout, when all of the crew goes out to a local shopping center for dinner and entertainment before the show starts on Saturday.

Mary Claire Basso-Luca, the senior head of costume crew, says that “the most memorable part of being on tech would be Bethesda blackout. It can be stressful for seniors, being in charge and making sure no one dies. We [the crew] can celebrate all of the work we put into the show.” Basso-Luca is also better known as MC by tech crew members, has advice for young hopefuls looking to join tech. “It might not seem like fun, but the community is what makes it less work and more fun. You can challenge your skills. You can look on stage and think, oh, I made that.”

Indeed things were made. Sarca said, “for the Crucible production, we made the poppet, which was a struggle, and some of the collars for the cast because the ones that we got from the costumer were too big.”

Though the poppet was difficult, Basso-Luca remarked that, “The beanstalk from Into The Woods was the hardest thing I ever made! I was in the corner, in the dark, sewing by the light of my phone, while they were running the show. There was so much noise. It took 3 days to complete!” This is a small example of how hard the crews work.

The Crucible set took many grueling hours of work for the build and paint department. They were still working on the Wednesday before the show opened on Friday. Lights and sound crew worked all night during the show to make sure that the spotlights were in their correct place, and makeup crew had a lot of work on their hands to make the young high schoolers look as if they were over 50. Even house crew was busy, selling tickets at the door, making sure everyone had their correct seats, and handing out brochures to all the guests.

Even though they play such a crucial role in each production, the crew is often ignored for their accomplishments because they contribute by seamlessly supporting the actors on the stage. According to Basso-Luca, “Absolutely 100%. It’s easy to overlook [us] because you are just following the stories. Noticing the tech attributes makes it a more enriching experience.”

So, even though there is a lot of work put in, it is hard to be taken seriously if you are not on the cast with your face on stage. Still, people join to find friends and common ground with their peers.

Sarca says it best: “I think it’s basically another family that I have become a part of while we work towards one goal of making the production. It can be stressful, but we are happy to be part of it.”