Playing The Role Of The Props

The behind the scenes process of what goes on in tech theatre


Brianna Howard

Freshmen Madeline Gamache and Samantha Knickmeyer work on a project in tech. theatre.

Brianna Howard, Reporter

You’ve seen the knights battle and the princesses sing as they dance across the stage, the spotlight never missing a move, but have you ever taken a minute to look at the dress they have on, or the shield the other holds in front of them?

In technical theatre, the main focus is to set the destination and journey the actors travel through while remaining on only a small stage. 

Something that separates this class from your typical art class and after school clubs for setting up and planning a play, is that you are given a brief rundown of the history that’s behind technical theatre, and how to put that history behind your works to keep it authentic. Students are given a long leash in relation to creativity and ideas for your personal creations of what the task given to you is.

Freshman Sammy Knickmeyer explained that students have freedom of creativity in this class.

“We’re allowed our own space when it comes to building our directed assignment, and that’s what I love most about this class,” Knickmeyer said. 

Tech theatre teacher Ms. Gehrke believes she gives students enough freedom in her class.

“I do – each unit has room for personal choice. Tech 1 is more of an overview class that is more restricted, but Tech 2 and 3 have enormous amounts of room for creativity,” Gehrke said.  

Ms. Gehrke has been overall teaching for 12 years, and specifically teaching tech theatre for two of those years. Growing up she never knew a life outside of theatre in her interests, but wasn’t able to get herself in the spotlight until the opportunity was there in high school. 

“Tech theatre is as important as performing theatre classes,” Gehrke said. “In order for theatre to exist, you have to have both performers and all the magical technicians who work behind the scenes. It also gives those students who don’t want to perform an opportunity to be part of theatre.”

Olivia Marshall, a student in tech theatre, chose this class when she heard about it.

“Even though I love theatre as a whole, I want to be mostly involved behind the scenes when it comes to being a part of a play,” Marshall said.