Meet the crew

    Melissa Schmitt and Madison Hadler work the lights as they watch the stage, Oct. 29.

    Although one might think their job is simply flipping switches, it’s anything but.

    The Lights Crew helped to set the tone and mood of the production for the audience through the lighting and color schemes.

    They had to take into consideration the scenery on stage. For example, when they light the stage they have to take into consideration the paint color of the set pieces. If the wrong gels are being used, the whole mood of the production is off. The light designer also has to take into consideration the actors’ costumes.

    To change the lights hue, the crew inserts “color gels.” Every gel has a specified tint or shade in a variety of colors. It is up to the Lights Crew to decide which gel will create the largest impact on the show. Each gel could make or break the production as a whole.

    Depending on the scene, each gel has to represent something different. A red gel may represent anger, while a purple may represent tranquility.

    When the light designer plans out the lighting design, every “P.A.R.” (Parabolic aluminized reflector light), “cyc” (Cyclorama) light and side light has to connect to a designated outlet, all while following a pattern for specific cuing.

    They also have to aim the lights in a way that when the curtains are lit they won’t look bad. In addition, every part of the stage has to be fully lit. Lights Crew members will spend hours pacing  the length of the stage with one hand held in front of them searching for dark spots.

    The Lights Crew is in charge of all the lit areas of the stage as well as the timing and cues of those lights.

    Members: Lighting Designer/Leader for the “Oklahoma!” production was Melissa Schmitt (12). In addition to directing and running the Lights Crew, she is also in charge of the lighting design of the show. Her assistant was Madison Hadler (11) and other technicians included Kaitlyn Frerking (10), Mary Kay Gagnepain (11), Jack Johnson and Emily Wildenhaus (12).

    “I really enjoy working on the lighting crew,” Schmitt said. “It was worth all the hours I spent here working on them.”