Tech week: the week leading up to a theatre production, in which the set, lights, sound, costumes, makeup, hair and more come together to complete the show. Putting it all together, however, doesn’t necessarily come easily.
Each day during Carrboro tech week, students stay five or six hours after school, with schedules consisting of a full run of the show, a run of transitions and problem scenes and a dinner break. During this week, the show becomes a final production, bringing together every aspect that was formed individually: namely actors and tech, as well as pit, if it’s a musical.
While it’s ideal that each aspect, formed mostly independent of one another, will be right on cue, that’s never the case. In the last week, combining every individual element takes countless hours.
“We’re definitely pretty good at managing tech week, but for some parts, there’s just no working around it,” said junior Grace Cohen, the current assistant technical director for Carrboro productions.
“A lot of times, there are adjustments that you have to make,” added senior actor Margaret Hubacher. “You might have to re-learn something at the last second, because some prop didn’t work out or some microphone isn’t working. You just have to adjust.”
Carrboro’s current musical, Cinderella, will be performed in mid-March. Putting the production together started in January. Two months may seem like a long time, but for all the work that needs to be done to have a complete show, the time always feels too short for those involved.
“People don’t realize, especially because it’s a high school show, how much we do, and to what caliber we’re doing things. People don’t realize the high professional standard that we’re held to here,” said Cohen.
In addition to all the prep that goes on, students involved must also keep up with their primary responsibility to school.
“We’re doing this, but we’re also still students,” said junior Graham Emmett, lighting designer.
Sometimes, actors get breaks when they’re offstage to work on homework, but pit and tech are working nearly all the time. Without these breaks, and with all of the schoolwork as the year draws close, tech week can be a challenging and stressful time.
In the end, for everyone involved, most feel it’s always worth it. “We’re all exhausted and tired of being at school for twelve hours a day, but from that comes really good cast bonding, because we’re spending so much time together,” said senior actor Caroline Smith. “We’re all so exhausted, that we kind of just fall asleep on each other, and we’re all friends.”