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Spotlight Shines on the Theater Tech Crew for Puffs


The Theatre Tech Crew assembled the first week of September to begin planning a magical show for the Fall: Puffs

The technical crews were assigned after a survey of interest was given to them by Theatre Director Madeline McDonald; now the crews are tasked with making the Kenneth E. Coffin Auditorium and The Julie Goering stage into a school of magic.

Puffs is set in the nostalgic Harry Potter universe– well, kinda. As an unofficial spin-off, the play obviously is based on the lore of Hogwarts, but the script doesn’t include any specific Potter terminology.

The play follows the story of the Hufflepuffs, or ‘Puffs.’

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In order to convey the magic of the play on stage, the technical crew for this year have a heavy workload.

“It’s going to be a very tech-heavy show, especially lighting and sound,” said McDonald. “When I’ve looked at the cue sheets for this show, there’s been 200-300 cues.”

Cues are when an actor does or says something that requires a tech person to do something off stage — like flip a light switch.

Not only do the crews have to worry about their own station, they must be in constant collaboration with the others.

“They will motioning a wand motion and at that exact time, 3 different cues have to happen simultaneously,” said McDonald.

The crews are excited to begin working on the play and have already had multiple meetings since the production lists were released.

“It’ll be so cool to see them do magic and the mix of lighting and sound,” said Assistant Stage Manager Eleanor Moore.

Not only does the program require a strong light and sound crew, but the show is extremely backstage heavy as well.

Backstage tech crews include: Makeup, Costumes, Props, Counterweight crews.

“We have to have all of our wands functioning and lighting up,” McDonald said. “Costumes are going to be fun, because we get to go with all of the color schemes of the different houses.”

With the backstage so active this year, students are eager to help out behind the curtain.

“I think we have more faithful tech people than we do actors,” said Moore.

Similar to a job application, the technical crew must go through an application in order to join.

“We take a look at their skill sets, and we sort them into the crew that’s the best fit based on their skill sets and strengths,” said McDonald. “We try to give everyone their first choice”

With many newcomers and veteran crew members, the club has a wide array of students.

“I think lots of the people who are juniors and sophomores are more knowledgeable and accustomed to the way McDonald runs things,” said Moore, “and we all are much better at our areas of expertise so I think the play will be very good.”

Students are thrilled to see the magic of Puffs come to life through their hard work.

“I’m excited for the lighting and to see it all come together,” said Technical Director Ash Funkhauser, “it’ll be magical.”

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