Drama students use skills to tech Sequoyah Institute shows
TNE Editor

Drama students use skills to tech Sequoyah Institute shows

Published 10/17/17

Marissa Mitchell

TNE Writer

Sequoyah Institute’s motto is “Enriching lives through arts and culture.” It is the aim to enrich the lives of everyone involved, even the drama students backstage at the shows. For many years, students and instructors of the drama program have teamed up with the SI to assist in all sorts of theatrical technical aspects for the SI season of shows. Even though every show in a typical SI season is not a play, drama students are still able to help with technical aspects they have already learned about in the classroom like lighting or sound.

Hannah Truitt, SI coordinator, understands the importance of college students having these opportunities.

“A benefit is that a lot of the tech work that needs to be done, the students have already learned,” said Truitt. “Through the NSU drama program they acquire skills that will translate into doing tech for shows. Drama students can say that they have worked with professional touring companies. Students in other programs don’t have the chance to say that.  I also think that having the students prepared with the knowledge to help with the shows says a lot about the NSU drama program and what it is teaching.”

With a drama degree, students can do a range of things from coordinating the audio at a live concert to being the in-house stage manager at a theater or a part of one of these traveling performing arts groups. The performing arts groups that usually come to NSU will travel the country far and wide for months with a few different shows in their belt to perform.

Teching a touring show can take up to two days for these drama students. Each day it can be a tiring all-day affair, but students will push on to produce quality work that reflects their program.

Nick Edwards, Muskogee sophomore, has teched for three different touring companies that have been brought to NSU by the SI.

“The day usually starts with a load-in process,” said Edwards. “This entails taking whatever will be necessary for the set or technical aspects out of the truck the company is using. After it's all out, we put the set together, get the tech aspects all sorted out and then work the show. It's all an exciting experience putting something together that's far bigger than yourself. Then, there's tearing it all down and loading it back into the truck and inevitably saying goodbye to everyone involved in the production.”

Adam Childress, Haskell senior, has teched shows for six different traveling performing arts groups. As a student about to go into the field soon, he is trying to learn all he can.

“Working with other traveling companies will better my arsenal for my career,” said Childress. “Working with these companies gives you inside look as to what it's like to have a career in theatre or performing arts, much like shadowing a position at the place you want to work. I usually stay fairly close to the tech of the traveling company so that I can learn as much as possible from them.”

Even though their time with the professionals is short lived, students can walk away with knowledge only an industry professional can teach.

“I've gotten quite a bit of advice, but a recent tidbit I've been told is to create your own opportunities,” said Edwards. “If life's got you down, work is scarce and you have the resources, make your own production. These projects could be the most fun you can have in the field, while still being practical exercise to keep your acting fresh. I've also figured out how important networking is in my time working with these traveling companies.”

To see some of the drama students’ technical work, join the SI as they present Presidio Brass. The group will be performing their hit show ‘Sounds of the Cinema’ at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 7 at the NSU CPA. Tickets are free for NSU students.

For more information, visit www.nsuok.edu/si.


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