Stagecraft sets the scene for the spring musical


Emily Cao, Staff writer

Stagecraft has been constructing the set for The Drama Department’s upcoming “Newsies” musical, which will take place March 17-25. 

The musical, inspired by the 1992 Disney Film, will feature the Newsboys’ Strike of 1899 in New York City (NYC). To imitate the city’s rustic scaffolding, Stagecraft students built a versatile two-story set using wood planks and gray spray paint. It serves as a staircase, balcony, bridge and newspaper factory in the play.

“I feel very satisfied with the set that we built. We built it in a short span of time, accomplishing a lot that is needed for the play,” junior Ethan Chau said. “Since we need to fit everyone on the same platform with very limited space, it utilizes the perspectives of all the actors in one frame.

Creating a rolling, in-house set has come with the challenge of structural reinforcement. In order to prevent cracking in wood planks, Stagecraft resolved this issue by adding wood underneath the foundation wherever they anticipate problems. 

“I like working with my hands. I like seeing it being finished and being like, ‘Oh yeah, I did that piece and it’s not falling apart’ it did fall apart, actually. But it’s really nice to see that when you work with other people it becomes something you can actually use practically,” sophomore Josette Anh Shiau-LaRoche said. 

In addition to making props, Stagecraft is involved in the sound, lighting and rigging the roping for curtains. The crew helps convey tone through the visual aesthetic. 

“With lighting, you have to pick colors that will fit the mood of the scene, whether it’s romantic or angry or hopeful. I’ll go, ‘They’re mad right now, so maybe we will use darker colors.’ It’s nice to see how from the beginning you have absolutely nothing and then at the end, you’ve got this incredible set and you get to actually see it happen.”

— freshman Georgia Colera

From readjusting where lights are aimed to setting transitional cues during the play, Stagecraft ensures that the show goes on. 

“[Stagecraft] is the backbone of the play,” Chau said. “I feel like it really teaches you teamwork, because we need to get along with each other and know our strengths and weaknesses in order to accomplish something big.”