In the few months before the lights come up and the Rebel Drama shows begin, there are hundreds of hours of preparation that go into the sets, props, lighting, computer, and sound systems. There is a special group of young artists, builders, and technical specialists that step up to make sure that our Rebel Drama productions provide the level of high-quality entertainment that our audiences have enjoyed for many years.
This year’s production, We Will Rock You, provided some special challenges. The vision of the production was to provide a futuristic scenario of society underscored by the classic rock and roll music of the band Queen. Much of the set used the shades of red, blue, green, and yellow described as “Google Colors”, along with some scenes that were more drab hues that depicted the wasteland and ruins of iconic settings like the Las Vegas Hard Rock Cafe and the gates at the entrance of Graceland, in Memphis.
Some of the tasks that the crew had were to construct platforms, steps, and walls that span almost forty feet across the stage and include an eight-foot rear projection screen, as the base set. Other challenges this year included building an eight by twenty-foot replica of the Graceland gates (on wheels so that it could be moved in a matter of seconds), programming and operating over a hundred stage lights, wireless microphone sound checks for every member of the cast, fog and bubble machines, and building the space on stage for a live rock band.
During the run of the show, scene changes have to be quick and precise to keep the rhythm and flow of the performance moving. Set changes are made while the stage is dark, and the running crew has to work together much like a NASCAR pit crew. These changes are practiced, timed, and evaluated to become as efficient as possible while still remaining safe for the crew and cast members.
According to Mr. Pat Lowery, the Rebel Drama Technical Director, “I’ve been running the stage crew for our high school drama department for over twenty years, and each show provides its own unique challenges. Being part of “The Crew” is a real-life educational experience in problem-solving. We make ideas and concepts become real. Many of my former stage crew members have told me that this experience has helped them in their education and careers after high school. This year I had the privilege of working with an amazing group of talented young people. Each of them has special skills, and a willingness to work hard and learn new things. This is not easy work, and attention to details and craftsmanship are essential to a high-quality show.”
The 2019 Rebel Drama Crew:
Evan Thomas- Crew Chief
Logan Riebe- Stagecraft Technician
Seth Riebe- Set Construction
Alexis Childress- Master Lighting Programmer/Operator
Riley Godin- “God Spot” Operator
Jordan Calhoun- Painter/ Running Crew
Morgan Mattern- Painter/ Running Crew
Myla Volk- Painter/ Running Crew
Kelly Boor- Artist/ Painter
Annalise Sommers- Artist/ Painter/Running Crew
Kierra O’Keefe- Spotlight Operator
Kelsey Beaber- Spotlight Operator
Ted Gust- Rear Projection Computer Technician