by Ally Van Dueren
Lights, camera, action and all; nothing would happen in Laverty if it weren’t for Chadwick’s “men and women in black.”
Headed up by technical director Rodney Rincon, Chadwick Stage Crew is a dedicated group of unsung heroes within the Upper School student body.
The group meets on Monday and/or Wednesday afternoons to build, paint and move sets and set the lighting for shows and performances in the Laverty Auditorium.
With three mainstage high school shows and countless other events each year, stage crew commits many hours to working to make Chadwick shows great.
Rincon has been working as Chadwick’s technical director for fifteen years and considers the lighting booth his second home.
“We are very blessed here,” Rincon said, referring to the state-of-the-art facilities in the Geoffrey Alan Laverty Center for the Performing Arts.
He was fortunate enough to know Geoff Laverty, a Chadwick WOW-to-be, before he passed away before junior year in a car crash. Laverty participated in many theatre and crew endeavors while in the middle and upper school at Chadwick.
“Geoff used to say to me, ‘Mr. Rincon, you’re a genius.’”
Rincon believes that each person in a show serves an integral function in the success of that show. “Either way, you are part of the show,” said Rincon.
Seniors A.J. Ferrara and Spencer LaFrance, two diehard members of Stage Crew, have been under the direction of Rincon for four years and agree that they have grown immensely.
“Working as stage manager is very rewarding,” LaFrance said. His favorite aspect of Stage Crew? “Building things then destroying them. It’s fun to take down a good set as it is to build one.”
Numerous challenges come with being a part of Stage Crew.
“It stinks immensely for them to bring up the lights while you are still changing the set,” said Ferrara.
Senior Nicole Jamgotchian, who has been on Crew for three years now, shares that she was afraid of going on the grid, the place above the stage where members of crew fix lighting.
“The first time I went on, I was scared and never wanted to go up again,” said Jamgotchian. “But, as I started going up more, I realized how fun it is.”
Senior Lisha Kim has been working on Stage Crew for three years and says Rent the Musical in the spring of 2010 was her favorite production to join.
“We always have fun singing backstage during the show,” said Kim.
She also explains that her most memorable and unforgettable moment occurred while working on sound for Hair, when she fought with microphone technician Gordon Firemark in front of Wieds.
Jamgotchian, along with the rest of Stage Crew, is appreciative of all the work that Rincon has put into making Stage Crew a fun and educational activity.
“Thank you, Mr. Rincon, for showing me the ins and outs of Laverty that I never would have seen otherwise,” said Jamgotchian.
Members of Stage Crew, along with Rincon, do not expect much change to come to the tech theatre department at Chadwick in the upcoming years. He hopes that the facilities will be treated with utmost care and respect.
Regardless, Rincon also doesn’t anticipate changes in his students.
Rincon said, “Every time you think you can’t be more impressed by students, they impress me more.”