It’s almost show time for the RFH Tower Players’ production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The social media posts are flowing, posters showing and actors’ headshots are rearing their professional-looking heads. Curtain goes up at 7:30 Friday night.
But, what’s behind the curtain amounts to months’ worth of work, practice and synchronicity with the performance and performers — the scenery, the lighting, the sound, the costumes, the props, the make-up and the people who make it all gel together and work. The tech crew. There is no show without them.
Set building has evolved over the years, as have innovations in lighting and sound and all of the rest. But, one thing has remained a mainstay at RFH — quality. Tech crews at RFH are known for their creativity and attention to detail when it comes to all that adorns and pulls a production together in the technical sphere.
Some sets were very traditional and precise on the RFH stage back in the 1970s. One fall production back in the day was a popular classic: Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.
Of course, for the tech crew, producing Plaza Suite meant that they would need to replicate a suite at the famous elite Plaza Hotel in NYC. And they did. For months, the crew sized it all up — down to the wall paper on the walls at the Plaza. This crew even searched for exact duplicates of silver coffee and tea sets and antique furniture to make the set complete.
The result: a bunch of teen-aged actors playing couples in not-so-teen-aged compromising positions on script in what looked exactly like a room at the Plaza Hotel.
Take a look. Click to enlarge. Recognize these crew members? Some went on to act and dance in the spring musical. Others were always found backstage behind the scenes and creating the perfect backdrop. One steady RFH tech crew guy ended up being a police officer in Fair Haven for many years. Know who that was?
Lights, camera, props, scene change aaaaaaaand curtain!
Your favorite RFH show and set? Most innovative you remember?
Thanks again to the fabulous George Day for these glimpses back in techie time on the RFH stage!