Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: Applauding Those Who Don’t Get Applause

  • Performing Arts
  • Sage Ridge Spotlight
Benjamin Browder (‘24) and Rhea Skaria (‘25)


Behind all of the props, set pieces, costumes, lights, mics, speakers, and special effects that make The Wizard of Oz the remarkable show that it is, an incredible team of two Stage Managers, five technicians, and seven crew members work tirelessly behind the scenes in order for the performances to happen. Typically no one who wants the fame or applause that comes with being in a show chooses to work backstage, but they deserve it nonetheless. These are the students who don’t get to take a bow and receive applause for their hard work, but deserve recognition for everything that they do that no one ever sees.


Benjamin Browder (Technical Director / Stage Manager) & Rhea Skaria (Stage Manager)

During every show, the Stage Manager’s responsibility is to ensure the precise execution of all technical cues. The Wizard of Oz has over 80 sound cues, over 300 lighting cues, over 100 followspot cues, and dozens of special effects and movement cues. The Stage Manager(s) work non stop through the entire 2-hour performance to call every single cue. Their hard work is never seen by the audience, but without their hard work, there would never be a show to see.

 

Lexie Wang (‘23)- (Lighting Board Operator)

Lexie works nonstop through the entire show to make sure all 300+ lighting cues happen when the Stage Manager(s) cue them. With so many cues in every scene--often multiple cues per minute--she does not get much of a break during the show and has to keep focused in order to ensure the proper timing and execution of each and every cue.

 

Erine Kilbourn (‘25)- (Sound Board Operator & Mixer)

Erine’s job is to mix the entire show. It is truly a job without rest as there are almost a dozen different microphones that all need turned on/off and adjusted throughout the show as well as sound effects and accompaniment tracks playing that all require different volume levels and/or effects. Everything the audience hears is managed by Erine, and it is their job to ensure that each and every show sounds good.

 

Michael Tian (‘24)- (Followspot Operator)

Throughout the entire show, Michael is responsible for keeping the followspot trained on actors on stage. With complex and fast-paced sequences, it is a job requiring intense focus in order to make sure that the light is exactly where it needs to be on stage at any given point throughout the entire show. Under the direction of the Stage Manager(s), he also works the bubble machine for Glinda! 

 

Dilan Narayani (‘27)- (Sound Assistant & SM Shadow)

Dilan is responsible for the execution of all sound cues (sound effects, music tracks, etc.) throughout the show under the direction of the Stage Manager(s). Just like all the other jobs, his requires intense focus to ensure that cues happen exactly when they need to. He also shadowed the Stage Management Team to learn the ropes of Stage Management.

 

Mallory Cotton (‘27)- (Tech Swing)

In the months leading up to the show, Mal learned about all of the different technical systems and departments in order to fill in for anyone on a moment’s notice should they be unable to work a show or rehearsal. While she has not had to fill in for anyone else thus far, she works each and every show during set changes, manages the curtains on the stage, and helps to ensure that equipment is placed correctly throughout the show.

 

Heaven Torres (‘24)- (Head Stagehand)

Heaven is responsible for coordinating the movement of all stagehands throughout the show. It is Heaven’s job to ensure that set changes happen on time, quickly, and efficiently. Heaven, just like the other stagehands, works so hard to make every performance a success.

 

Tabitha Gilsdorf (‘26) , Henry Berston (‘27) , Murat Alkan (‘24) , & Abi Napoli (‘26)- (Stagehands)

The stagehands have one of the hardest jobs of anyone. They move heavy set pieces throughout the show and must do so extremely quickly. They are also responsible for ensuring that props and set pieces are set throughout the show and must fix anything that breaks during a performance or rehearsal. It is the stagehands who make each location visited during the show unique through the movement of set pieces and props. Words cannot express just how hard this team works to make the show happen.

 

Sitara Reganti (‘25) & Zoe Dixon (‘24)- (Assistant Costumers)

Zoe and Sitara work with Costume Designer Teri Newman to ensure that all performers that cross the stage have beautiful costumes. They work behind the scenes of every show to ensure that quick changes happen on time, and that all performers look their very best when they step onto the stage.
 

While the actors onstage are the stars of the show itself, it is the tech and crew that holds the show together and makes sure that it keeps on moving. With a musical as big as The Wizard of Oz, these students work as hard as they can to ensure its success. If you happen to run into one of these crew members in the hallway, congratulate them for all of their hard work in making The Wizard of Oz come to life! 

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