LIGHT UP THE SKY: Stage Manager’s Tech Blog

By Alexander Brodkin

How does a show come together? When the audience takes their seats this Thursday in the Paramount and the curtain rises they will see countless hours of work by a talented group of students and professionals. Weeks of rehearsal, design meetings, and load-in culminate in a process collectively known as “tech.” Tech is, simply put, the culmination of the work in the rehearsal room being placed on stage within the set, and adding in lighting, sound, costumes and in LIGHT UP THE SKY’s case projections. The process to create a show involves many steps and great patience is required. To tech a show we slowly add in layers and work through the show many times.

LIGHT UP THE SKY is not a very technically heavy show, but it still requires a lot of work. This last Friday we started teching the show without actors. Our lighting designer, sound designer, and projection designer each tried things out to see what would work prior to adding actors on Saturday morning.

One of the most important things we do during tech is make sure all of the elements of the show work together. As the Stage Manager I help that process by helping everyone communicate. On Saturday we went through each scene with the actors on stage. We used the work from Friday to look at different lights, hear different sounds and see different projections to find what worked best for each scene. On Sunday we added costumes. Then on Monday we added hair and makeup. Throughout this process there are many notes and many things to fix.

This slow layering helps make a great show. Before Thursday we will run the show many times and work hard to get it to the product you see when we open.


Alexander Brodkin is a senior BFA Stage/Production Manager at Emerson College and is the Stage Manager for LIGHT UP THE SKY.

LIGHT UP THE SKY opens Thursday, October 21 at 8PM in the Paramount Mainstage.

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