Lights, Camera, but No Action?

Joie Evar, Staff Writer

As the Tenafly Performing Arts department breaks from its latest hit play Love/Sick, which took the stage November 3rd, 4th, and 5th, its amazing performers are taking the interim to rest their abilities for up and coming performances. But what does this mean for the performers behind the stage? With the spring musical yet to be announced, what has the stage crew been doing during their weekly meetings, and what does this break mean after weeks of preparation? Let’s find out. 

The stage crew’s job leading up to Love/Sick was pretty laborious. “Tech Crew was responsible for building and painting the entirety of the set in addition to obtaining certain furniture pieces for each scene,” Stage Manager Taleen Torosian (’23) said. “In preparation for the play, we did what we always do: show up to as many meetings as possible and work as quickly as possible to get everything done.” 

Teacher Supervisor Mr. Moger’s vision for the project differed from past sets; for Love/Sick, his concept was to create a dollhouse, highlighting different scenes in different rooms. Depending on Moger’s schedule, the group usually got together for a day at the beginning from 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.

The Love/Sick set in the works (Adar Serok)

Torosian explained, “An average Tech Crew meeting starts out with a discussion of a plan for the goals of that day. Then, depending on what we have left to do, the painters and the builders typically separate into smaller groups and finish mini-projects simultaneously.

“For Love/Sick specifically, we had a late start with actually building the set, so that definitely set us back,” Torosian said. “In general, though, I would say the hardest part of any play is just juggling the amount of work you have to do for the play and for school because it can get overwhelming at times.” All members of Stage Crew admit that it can be a tiresome commitment at times. With a wide range of jobs, the crew has huge responsibilities to uphold. Selah Jain (’25), a key Stage Crew painter, explained, “Being one of the lead scenic artists in the stage crew, I can tell you that painting is enjoyable, but to get the wanted result takes a lot of effort. For Love/Sick, it took us so long to just perfect the dining room table. A lot of the painting crew can be described as perfectionists, including me, so it really takes numerous hours to be satisfied with our work.”

 For Torosian and her co-manager Skyler Salk (’23), the work definitely loads up as well. Torosian remarked: “As the stage managers, I would say that we have the most important job in the theater. Being a stage manager is basically a lifestyle at this point. During a show, we are usually at school from 8:10 a.m. until around 9:10 p.m. In the rehearsals, we take note of the blocking of the actors, what set pieces we need, and other random things… During the actual shows, we are the ones telling all of the techies what they need to do and when they need to do it. In the grand scheme of things, without the set changes, there wouldn’t be any scene changes and if there aren’t any scene changes, the show would just stop. So we basically keep the entire cast and crew going all the time.”

So, what do these jobs mean now? Well really, not much: “Immediately after the play, the crew has something called a ‘strike’ which is basically when we take down the entire set that we built and generally just clean up backstage because it can get messy during shows,” Torosian said. Other than that, Stage Crew is enjoying their off-season with no major projects, but that doesn’t mean it’s a break. “For the winter, there really isn’t much to do. Right now, [we’re] just relaxing but for the winter we have Tux, Madrigals, One Acts, Tenafly’s Got Talent, and like mini shows in a sense,” crew member Adar Serok (’25) said. However, these events only usually take up a day or two, excluding days for dress rehearsals. Stage Crew is preparing for its surge of work in the spring with the upcoming play, which it hopes to see you attend!