The secret world of set building

   There are many moving parts that go into Neuqua Valley’s children’s show. From costumes, to casting, to sets there are many people who contribute to the entire experience. Sameer Datta, junior at Neuqua Valley, gives the inside scoop on what it’s like to build sets for the play. He says that the process is long and tedious. Datta says that it begins when, “our director for build goes and talks to the director of the whole show and the show director tells us what they want us to build.” He said that when it becomes time to start building that, “most of the time [the crew has] have a plan in [their] heads and go off of that, but sometimes [they]’ll get blueprints.” It requires many creative minds working together in order to make the amazing sets that the audience sees on stage. Datta’s main responsibility in the world of set building is, “teaching others how to use the dangerous power tools and saws”.

   Set construction is a very time consuming job. Datta says they get about five weeks to build the sets and they have to stay every day after school until 6 p.m., also coming in on Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.. This unacknowledged time and effort can often leave the builders feeling underappreciated and Datta says freshman year the set crew didn’t even get a page of recognition in the play’s program. He says it’s a lot better now and they are included in morning announcements sometimes to spread awareness and get more people involved in set building. They also have their own page in the yearbook. Datta and many others involved in the world of theater believe that it is important to acknowledge not just the actors on the stage, but the ones behind the scenes making it all possible.

Story by Emma Wightkin, photo courtesy of Sameer Datta

Categories: Echo, Everything Else

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