10 Minutes to Curtain: Backstage with the Tech Crew at Arsenic & Old Lace

On November 1, the cast and crew of SHC’s fall production of Arsenic & Old Lace had their final dress rehearsal. The play, written in 1939, is a single-set comedy revolving around the less-than-sane debatably nefarious antics of a single family, the Brewsters.

The set itself is a gorgeous two-story Victorian interior, and the audience feels transported immediately. The acting is top-notch, of course. This time, though, we thought we would check out what was going on behind the scenes, and hear from various members of the tech crew on preview night, aka the final night of tech week. Here’s what a few of the secret stars of the show had to say, about Arsenic, their favorite crew memories, and the perks to being a sometimes unsung hero.

Lighting Booth

Charlie Lewkowitz ’19
4th year SHC light crew
Favorite show: The Laramie Project

On the production: “The show is pretty funny. The view (from the lighting booth) is good. In general, it’s fun to be up here, problem solving. Like focusing a light on a specific person during a run.”

Avinash Reddy ’21
2nd year  SHC lights & stage crew
Favorite show: “I really like the dance showcase, it’s really exciting and fast paced.“

On tech: “It feels like you have importance, but no one really knows or notices you. I like that. “

Alex Esquivel-Cheung ’19
4th year SHC light crew
Favorite show: “Working dance showcases. I like it because I can use all the colors or all the movers. It’s a little design and pulling lights and focusing them, seeing if they are right for all the actions.”

Libby Marsh-Regan ’20
2nd year SHC sound crew

On working tech: “When I think about tech I think about a family. I think about having fun before shows and getting to make great art during shows. I just love being a part of it. I remember before the last show of Mary Poppins, we were in a circle sharing memories for all the departing seniors, and my sister was a senior. It just felt great to all come together, like a real family.“

Sasha Hopewell Makeup 2

Sasha Hopewell ’22
1st year SHC makeup crew

On working tech: “I like learning new things about makeup, learning new skills, and meeting people I wouldn’t get to meet otherwise. I love hearing the stories everyone tells us while they sit in the make up chairs."

Kaila Nobriga-Allen ’22
1st year hair stylist

On working tech: “I like meeting new people and doing their hair … Everyone, cast and crew, is super nice.”

Catrina Macguire ’20
2nd year SHC crew

On working stage crew: “I actually do makeup, but this time I sewed the curtains onstage. I like broadening my skill set and now, seeing how intricate and interesting sewing is, and how easy it is to stick yourself or hot glue yourself, I might masochistically come back. “

Kalli Chan ’22
1st year SHC crew

On working stage crew: “I like watching people run through desperately looking for a prop that is right in front of them. Also, you don’t have to worry about what you look like or mistakenly kicking something into the audience.”

Kaila Nobriga Allen Hair

Congratulations to all the hard working crew of Arsenic & Old Lace. You did a phenomenal job. As technical director Tim Mahoney says, in true understated, black-clad spirit, “you’re alright”.

Stage Managers Onstage Prep

Note: It was impossible to catch Peyton McDonnell ’19, Arsenic’s stage manager, or members of her team for a word, ten minutes before curtain. Here they are in action.

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