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Center Stage theater program highlights importance of technical theater

From the Local 5 Digital Desk

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – There are many aspects of live theatre, and a number of them happen behind the curtain.

The Center Stage High School Musical Theater program’s second workshop of the year highlights technical theatre.

The virtual workshop, which focused on lighting, audio, and stage managing, consisted of a question and answer session. Gerald Henley, the Director of Production and Facility Operations at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, led the workshop.

While Henley, who has worked at the Performing Arts Center for 17 years, has given students tours of the theater, this is his first time leading a workshop. He says he enjoys helping students learn about what it takes to put on a live production.

“I don’t have any kids. I always love kids. I remember when I was coming through these programs, somebody took me by their side and taught me how to do things. As I’ve gotten older I’d like to share those experiences with the kids that are coming up now. They’re the next generation of stagehands, actors, actresses, head of wardrobe.”

Students in the program were grateful to learn from someone with so much knowledge and insight into the theater industry. They learned about how many people are involved in a professional theater production and how to break into the theater industry as a stringer. They did not mind that the workshop was virtual, they were appreciative that the Center Stage program chose to hold the technical theatre workshop anyway. Leland Bartikofsky, a senior at Green Bay Preble High School, says this week’s workshop was just as effective as having it in-person.

“To get a glimpse into like the crew and set pieces and costuming and stage management, it was really cool and there was a lot of insight gained today. I would argue that it’s just as impactful if not more, because the state of the world right now, so still having the opportunity to do this and talk with someone in that field, it just feels really good.”

Lindsey Seaquist, a junior at Pulaski High School, says it was interesting to see a different side of theater she has not experienced before.

“I didn’t realize what all goes on behind the scenes. It was kind of interesting to look at it from his perspective. I really enjoyed that he involved everyone and we were open to ask questions.”

For more information on the Center Stage High School Musical Theater program, you can visit here.

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